She was barely eight years old when together with seven of her age mates ,she was handed over to a traditional circumciser who took them through the painful process of FGM.it has been many years since ,and she has accomplished so much in life, but the incident remains fresh in her mind. The old woman who took them through the process was going blind, she says, and three of the eight who underwent the procedure died due to excessive bleeding. One of them was her very close friend. Luckily for her, the bleeding was not too much and she had a savior at hand. Her father, who was a policeman, took her to a hospital in Garissa using a police land rover. This was the traumatizing experience that nominated Member of Parliament, Sophia Abdi Noor went through when her mother blessed her to undergo the rite of passage that would cleanse her and make her acceptable for marriage according to tradition. Never before in history of the august house had a member used her own life experience to move debate as Ms. Sophia did when supporting the bill to outlaw female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is the term used for operations or removal of all or just part of the external parts of female genitilia.This practice has for a long time come under increasingly intense international scrutiny from the news media, feminist and human rights organizations. The main reasons for continuation of FGM are firstly, as a rite of passage from girlhood to womanhood; a circumcised woman is considered mature, obedient and aware of her role in the family and society.Secondly, FGM is perpetuated as a means of reducing sexual desire of girls and women, thereby curbing sexual activity before and ensuring fidelity within marriage. Although opposition to female ‘circumcision’ has been articulated throughout the twentieth century, starting with missionaries and colonial administrators, the current resurgence of indignation was ignited in part by activists at conferences honoring the United Nations Decade for women(1975-1985).(Shell-Duncan.B,Hernland-Y;pg 23) The practice of circumcising women has very deep roots that touch all aspects of the cultures that continue to inflict it upon their girls.However,it still remains to be a practice that violates the human rights of affected women in a moral and ethical sense because it generates psychological torture, low self-esteem, tampers with a woman’s sexuality and is a health hazard.
The pain inflicted by F.G.M does not stop with the initial procedure, but often continues as an ongoing torture throughout a woman’s life. Intense pain and hemorrhage experienced during the procedure can lead to shock. A 1985 Kenyan study found that nearly 97% of the 269 women interviewed experienced intense pain during and after F.G.M and more than 13% went into shock. According to WHO, It is self-evident that any form of surgical interference in the highly sensitive genital organs constitutes a serious threat to the woman, and that the painful operation is a source of major physical as well as psychological trauma. The extent and nature of the immediate and long-term mental disturbances will depend on the girl’s inner defences, the prevailing psychological environment, and a host of other factors. The family no doubt does its best to mitigate the painful effects of the operation; nonetheless, they necessarily undergo overwhelming experiences. Even before the operation, the threat of ‘cutting’ and fear provoking situation may disturb the mental state of the child to the degree that it causes worry, anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares or panic. As anticipating precautions against these anxieties the family commonly uses various forms of traditional magi co-religious practice such as fumigation, or the wearing of amulets. On a religious perspective, the scripture prescribes that special efforts be made to care for those who are most vulnerable.(Deut 10:17-19,Ps 82:3,4; Ps24:11,12;Luke 1:52-54) Jesus...
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