Peace and Social Justice

Female Circumcision (FGM) an Acknowledged Cultural ritual or a violation of Women’s right.

Female Circumcision is an inhumane and cruel practice and I believe it should be banned because it is an antiquated practice that has no place in our generation. Putting a woman through such a severe pain for the satisfaction of men and the practice of such a harmful cultural aspect is ridiculous and irrational.

Genital mutilation, also referred to as female circumcision, genital cutting, or excision, is usually performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 12, but also on teenagers in Somalia. It generally involves one of three different types: a clitoridectomy, which means the amputation of the clitoris; excision of the labia minora as well as the clitoris; or infibulation, which is the removal all external genitalia including the labia majora, after which the edges of the wound are stitched together, allowing for only a tiny opening. Somali community, differentiates the three by calling them 1 and 2 Suni and 3 as Phiraonic. The act is always performed by a female elder or experienced practitioner using a razor or a knife, usually without anesthetic, while several women hold the girl down. Agonizingly painful, it robs her of sexual pleasure and frequently causes medical problems, including hemorrhaging, infection, cervical disease, urinary incontinence, infertility, complications in childbirth and sometimes death.

Calls for a bill banning FGM have been made several times to the Somali government by women’s groups, religious leaders and other relevant stakeholders but still no action has been taken. FGM is still largely practiced in Somalia where about 98% of females undergo the exercise.

Female circumcision is one of the most shocking cultural practices in Somalia and around many developing countries. It contravenes women’s rights in a violent and obvious manner and is a serious threat to a wellbeing of a girl child. Many people in different countries have advocated for total ban on FGM after learning about it and the harm it causes, but still governments and policy makers are reluctant to approve.

Here are some explanations why female genital mutilation needs to stop.

Despite the insistence of people within the cultures that carry out female circumcision, the procedure has absolutely no health benefits. There are numerous life-threatening conditions that follow the procedure. It leads to problems in childbirth, lose of blood and infertility, and an increase in vaginal and uterine infections and death, among others. Physical damage from female circumcision causes numerous physical problems aside from the damage to the external genitalia. This is because the act is performed by untrained practitioners or elderly women who sometimes use unsterilized tools. Victims of female circumcision suffer from greater levels of uterine and pelvic infections, scarring, pain during menstruation and sex, increased risks of bladder infections and many other physical problems.

Female circumcision often gives rise to severe psychological trauma. Women who have been subjected to it suffer from post-traumatic stress, anxiety disorders and depression. The traumatic experience of how women hold a girl down on the ground. Afterward her legs are tied up together by a rope for a period of 2 weeks to a month before she recovers. Girls suffer depression during adulthood and experience household disputes about spending most of the family income to see a doctor and getting medication for her infections and pain.

Female circumcision is a violation of the rights of girls and women including human rights. It is often carried out without consent of the girl. Parents or guardians decide for her forcibly against her will. Children are not old enough to make this decision about their bodies. It is a painful, disfiguring practice that offers no benefit to the person. I believe this to be no more than child abuse – to purposefully hurt / injure a minor. It can cause significant problems to a person’s health and in many cases a lifetime of pain.

FGM is a form of discrimination against women rights and equality. During the practice the girls are kept home sometimes even miss school just to attend the ritual. Others girls drop out of school and others even get married off because they are believed to be a woman. Seriously, the pain and stress a girl goes through after the procedure largely affects her life’s opportunity to enjoy her childhood, live healthy and comfortably.

Some argument why people still practice FGM.

Some might argue that FGM is beneficial to a girl throughout her puberty life because it protects her and allows her to stay pure and a virgin till marriage. A girl cut is considered a clean woman, virtuous and ready for marriage. This is a way of keeping women from being promiscuous and show no interest in men and carry the family name without shame. It is seen as way of ensuring the family’s name is safeguarded in society when parents mutilate girls at a younger age.

FGM is a cultural practice and sometimes carries religious significance in Somalia like in many African and Arab countries. It has been part of Somali culture since way back i.e thousands of years ago and has been part of sacred ritual of passage that prepares girls for adulthood. This has been embraced by society and they see nothing wrong with exercising the act even after lots of education about its harm to a girl or when she grows to a woman.

Some parents still continue to do it to their children because it has been done to them and their parents and they want it to be a custom and should be inherited no matter the circumstance. Even after awareness and education on the harmfulness of FGM, some parents still think the Phiraonic cut is the worst and should try suni as explained above but nevertheless all have effects at the end of the day.


Female genital mutilation(FGM) is a barbaric experience, dangerous, hurtful, sexist, and demeaning to women. In my opinion, FGM violates the human rights of a girl and is a form of discrimination against women. The practice has ruined many innocent lives over the years and many others have been left stranded with every day pain that destroys their lives and marriages. The government should endorse the bill to ban FGM and punish illegal practitioners with severe long sentences behind bars. The practice is purposeless and should definitely be banned totally! Do you agree or disagree with me?

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