I attended a presentation yesterday and was deeply moved and shocked. I wish everybody would take a look at this and spread the word. YOU can make a difference!
Each day, 8,000 girls are robbed of their genitals and therefore of their dignity (one third dies due to loss of blood). That is one girl every eleven seconds. Throughout the world, 150 million women are affected. TARGET wants to put an end to this crime. FGM is practised mainly in African countries – and has been, in some places, for over 5,000 years, regardless of religion and nationality.
TARGET’s “Pro-Islamic Alliance against Female Genital Mutilation” aims to set out clearly that the custom, wherever practised, is incompatible with the Qur’an and with the ethics of Islam, discriminates against Islam, amounts to presumption in God’s name and is a sin. Leading Islamic authorities have endorsed the alliance.
Ruth, seven years old, a Christian. She is sitting on her aunt's lap, who is suddenly spreading her legs and holding on tight to Ruth. Another woman holds her arms. Ruth is screaming, but she doesn't stand a chance. The razor blade takes away her clitoris. Without anaesthetic. There is blood. Lemon juice as an antiseptic. A cloth to stem the bloodflow. Afterwards a celebration.
Cutting off the clitoris is the mildest form of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Fatima has to endure the hardest form. She is eight years old, a Muslim, and lives in the Danakil desert, Ethiopia. She will have to undergo Pharaonic mutilation. Like her friends. Laila, for example, who has not spoken since. Who has been mute for eleven weeks. According to an estimation of the UN, one third of the girls will never speak again. Death due to loss of blood.
Four adults are trying to hold Fatima, who is struggling for her life, in place. The razor blade takes away the clitoris, the labia, everything. Even her soul and trust in life, including her trust in the adults whose hands are smothering her screams. Then she faints. Her vagina is closed with acacia thorns - just like a zipper. Without mercy. Her thighs are bound together with bandages.
After four weeks the skin has grown together. What is left is an opening the size of a grain of rice. From now on urinating will take half an hour, menstruation two weeks. In her wedding night she will be opened - either with a knife or her husband's penis. When she gives birth, the opening will have to be widened. Again, with a knife. Afterwards everything will be stitched together again. This cycle will repeat itself.