Wednesday, 14 April 2010

"Think Again" (FGM series)

Among the many causes I actively work and campaign for is the horrific and sadly widespread practise of Female Genital Mutilation (female circumcision/FGM).

For those unfamiliar with the terminology, FGM is similar to male circumcision in that it removes part of the female genitalia, though differs significantly in extent and severity. FGM can be as mild as a partial removal of the clitoral hood, and as gruesome as all of the clitoris, inner and outer labia and clitoral hood being removed. The opening is then stitched up, leaving a whole no bigger than a match stick for excretion of urine and menstrual blood. As you might imagine, the social, sexual and psychological consequences of such a barbaric practise are life long, and international movements are now established to fight for the practise to be band.
Though FGM predates Islam, certain factions among the vile wahabis have worked hard to integrate this practise in to the faith, thus justifying it and increasing the numbers of those participating. The practise is most common in Eastern and Western Africa, but can also be found in Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and a small part of south America. With the settlement of African communities in the UK, FGM has become a problem for UK governments, faith communities and activists alike, I am certainly seeing an increase in those affected by it in my work with survivors. The most significant consequence is the failure of marriages: as women no longer have any interest, desire or understanding of pleasure during sex, thus frustrating their husbands and leading to divorce.

This post marks the first in a series examining FGM, in order to spread awareness and encourage you in your own respective circles and communities to add your voice to the campaigns working to see this practise stopped.

The below film is entitled “think again”, and was produced by a group of Somali girls between the ages of 11 and 23 (the most common age period during which a girl may be circumcised). The women in this clip talk openly about their fears and the ramifications of FGM on themselves, their families and their future. My respect to the young women involved and the team at Forward UK who produced this short, sharp and powerful piece of film: we need allot more of the same!
Watch, be affected and use this footage as the source that drives you in helping us to stamp out this evil practise.

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