Seven years ago, a woman and a mother refused to subject her only daughter to be under the atrocious practice of female circumcision. Moolaadé is the story of this woman, Collé Ardo, a seditious and strong-minded second wife of Ciré in a small secluded African village who single-handedly refused to allow five girls to suffer through the customary Salindé ceremony. She was in opposition with the practice of genital mutilation due to her personal experiences and she didn’t want others to suffer like her. Collé’s Moolaadé enraged the Salindana, who were the women who performed “purification” ritual and the male elders who viewed her actions as threats to their values. As a sign of dominance, the men confiscated the women’s radios, which devastated the women because it was their source to news and music outside of their isolated lives. When the five girls escaped the Salindé ceremony and came to Collé, she willingly offered them Moolaadé, or protection. Collé was scarred after losing two children during childbirth due to her own genital mutilation. She remembers the pain she had to go through and the nurse had to open her up to deliver her only surviving daughter, Amasatou. Collé remained firm that she would never let Amasatou to endure the agony of being cut. Collé’s interference with the old tradition caused outrage in the dominating patriarchal society who viewed her actions as disrespect to tradition and Islamic religion. The male elders took away the women’s radios because they didn’t want women being influenced by radical ideas. Collé was intensely pressured by the Salindana and the male elders, including her husband to lift the Moolaadé. Her refusal forced her husband to whip her publically but she never once uttered the word. Collé’s actions reflected her bravery and determination which “mobilized” the other women in the village to support Collé’s intentions and realize the horrid effects of purification. She was an intelligent woman who encouraged the other women to realize that the men were oppressing them from the truth by taking away their radios, so the women wouldn’t ponder over unreasonable ideas. Collé supported her deep-rooted opposition to genital mutilation with evidence that contradicted the men’s inaccurate dictations. While, listening to the radio Collé had learned that Islam didn’t tolerate female genital mutilation because thousands of Muslim women would go to Mecca for pilgrimage and they weren’t cut, which shocked many of the male elders who still appeared to be ignorant. Through this, the women in the village united together and bonded through the pain each of them suffered through their genital mutilations. There is a sense of relief and happiness that reflect off these women in the end when they burned the knives used to bring suffering to generations of women who feel under the dreadful practice. As Collé and the village women in their struggles end the practice of female genital cutting, they began their own feminism movement revolutionizing their purpose in society.
haracters having seen the world beyond the village and convinced of the need for change become unlikely allies of Collé and the village women in their struggles to end the practice of female genital cutting. Such unlikely partnerships forged across ethnic, class, gender and generational lines have historically been crucial to the success of human rights struggles. In the campaign against the practice of female genital cutting, they are essential and Mooladé shows us why.
caused a sudden awareness among the other oppressed women in the village when her husband whipped her publically but she never once uttered the word. Allegedly eradication
Unlike many recent Hollywood made films about Africa, Mooladé is a story about Africa made by Africans from a distinctly local perspective. Yet, it speaks to universal themes of power, oppression and emancipation. In depicting one woman’s struggle to protect...
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