Monday, June 27, 2011


This Ethiopian little girl does not have a choice or a voice.
Opponents of female circumcision emphasize that the practice is detrimental to women's health and well-being. Some consider the practice a ritualized form of child abuse and violence against women, a violation of human rights.

Female circumcision, aka female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), is a relatively recent debate. The practice was hardly spoken of in Africa and little was known in the West until the 1950s and 1960s. At this time activists and medical practitioners tabled the health consequences of female circumcision to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations. It was not until 1979 that any formal statement was made urging governments to eliminate the practice in their respective countries. The following decade, the widespread silence surrounding female circumcision was broken.

The WHO categories female circumcision into four major types:
Type I -      defined as partial or total removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy) and/or the prepuce (clitorial hood.
Type II -     defined as partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.
Type III: Infibulation with excision - defined as narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and repositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation).
Type IV: Other types - defined as all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g., pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization. 

Female circumcision is an integral part of patriarchal societies where the male authority and control of female sexuality and fertility are givens.

Efforts to eliminate female circumcision have often been unsuccessful because opponents of the practices ignored to mention its social and economic context. They were out to bash the practice without seeking practical solutions. Many African women have perceived many of these efforts as condescending and derogatory toward their culture. It is offensive to those who believe in the practice to be "ordered" to stop it. They do not mind the good advise but they recent the tone and condescending arrogance of the West.

The strong reactions against depictions of cultures practicing female circumcision as savage, violent and abusive of women and children have led to new ways of approaching the issue. Some amiable approaches include community education, reaching out to community health workers and educating them on the harmful effects of female circumcision. Another approach used in Kenya by the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake organization, was working with communities to come up with alternative rites of passage (rituals). In Burkina Faso the director of a local theatre produced a play, based on the experience of his niece, on the consequences of female circumcision. The play was aimed particularly at men.

Most of the countries where female circumcision occurs have signed international treaties that condemn gender-based violence. Many have laws against female circumcision. Given the lack of enforcement of most laws against this practice, it unclear whether a purely legal approach is effective in itself.

Significant change is likely to take place only with improvements in the status of women in society.


  1. This is highly frightening pictures. I don't know how female circumcision is done. offcourse I am against this fully. It simply means women have no right to enjoy sex. These type of people must be screwed. I think this society is evil who are doing such type of things. By the way how do they circumcised a women genitals? Very interesting....I don't know How I came to your blog but very interesting topic...


  3. kwa kweli elimu inaitajika hasa kwa jamii inayofanya vitendo vya ukatili namna hii mimi kwa upande wangu inaniuma sana napoona hali kama hii inatokea hvyo naomba wadau wachukue hatua madhubuti kukomesha hali hii

  4. So how many of you are against this, but "ok" with male circumcision because we consider it "normal"? Both are horrifyingly cruel.

  5. western women today, pay for labial surgery..
    for labia which are 'too big' [normal]..
    african men where girls labia/clitoris
    were cut off/out when asked by western
    media, held up [early] playboy magazines,
    'see, your women have it too'
    playboy etc would air brush out labia
    seen peeping out etc..
    there are always, many reasons for
    apparently senseless mutilations etc..
    many western women state preference for
    men without,, normal forskin/prepuce..
    partly on religious and societal grounds..

    clitoral labial surgery has been performed
    in the west incl usa for many years..
    including to discourage masturbation
    thought to cause various diseases..

    try telling traditional jews or muslims
    they should not be or practice circumcision..
    ie, religious brainwashing has taken away
    their natural human sensibilities..

    mate selection is everything in nature
    and in tribal and religious societies..
    tribal etc women incidentally, do it
    to their little girls,, catching and
    holding them down...

    there must be some incentive which
    overrides the wave of tradition
    and preferences of males..
    western women could make it clear
    to those involved that they are
    intact and strongly disapprove..

    rights of passage often include blood
    and cutting etc.. perhaps careful
    introduction of [say] innoculations
    against diseases [etc] could be
    part of moulding this old blood
    letting genital mutilation..

    both my 3 girls and 2 boys
    are as nature intended..