FMG is not cultural, it’s violence: 66,000 women in the UK endure the agony of brutal circumcision. Now one victim hits back at the PC society that ignored her pain – Published on Mail Online, by Ruth Styles, May 7, 2013.
Nimko Ali was seven when she underwent Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Her teacher, instead of helping, likened it to a Bar Mitzvah
66,0000 British women are believed to have undergone FGM
20,000 girls are at risk of being taken abroad for circumcision
FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 … //
… A quarter of a century on and Ali remains furious but is determined to ensure that no other child will be left to suffer in silence as she did.
‘It’s easy to believe that this sort of thing only happens in other countries and cultures, but the reality is it’s happening here in Britain,’ she explains.
‘For too long, it has been passed off as a “cultural” ritual. But this act is not about celebration. FGM is gender-based violence, it’s as simple as that.
The practice tells women that they are merely “vessels” to carry children; they deserve no sexual pleasure.
‘I’ve now made it my quest to stand up and fight against FGM.’
And her help is most certainly needed. Despite being illegal in the UK, FGM or female genital mutilation, is on the rise with an estimated 66,000 women dealing with the after-effects and more than 20,000 young girls thought to be at risk.
Worldwide, more than three million women have been subjected to FGM, many of whom come from East African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Somalia.
Those countries, many of which are part of the Commonwealth, are at the heart of Britain’s FGM problem, and as a result, the majority of British women to suffer FGM are part of the UK’s 600,000-strong ethnic African community.
When people fled from Al Shabab in Somalia or Idi Amin in Uganda, many came to the UK – bringing with them local traditions, including FGM.
But East Africa isn’t the only place where the practice is widespread. Women in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Yemen and others are also highly likely to be forced to undergo FGM.
Although it is illegal to take a girl abroad for FGM under British law, Ali was just seven years old when she was taken to Somalia for a ‘holiday’ where she would be subjected to the horrific procedure.
‘Towards the end of the holiday, we took a two-day drive through the desert, arriving eventually at a huge house,’ remembers Ali.
‘There was a woman at the door in a burka. I was scared and instinctively started running. When I was caught, I was taken into a room filled with instruments I didn’t recognise.
‘The woman I was so afraid of was there waiting for me. She scolded me for running away, telling me how difficult it was to obtain equipment like this; how ungrateful I was.
‘I blacked out before she started cutting. I’m still not sure whether it was the anaesthetic or pure fear’ … //
… (full text, pictures, facts, an interview link).
Niger villagers take mass public vow to end female genital mutilation, on Reuters, by Abdoulaye Massalatchi, May 16, 2013;
As U.S. Muslim Population Rises, So Does Female Genital Mutilation in America: Never Prosecuted, on Savoir ou se faire avoir, by Debbie Schlussel, May 16, 2013 (Source);
UK – The Crisis of Female Genital Mutilation: Despite these laws, no one has ever been prosecuted for performing FGM. Victims are often afraid to speak out for fear of physical abuse or death threats, some involving paid hitmen, on Gatestone Institute, International Policy Council, by Soeren Kern, May 9, 2013;
Female genital mutilation campaigners face death threats and intimidation: Women who speak out against barbaric operations against young girls face danger and abuse from their own ethnic groups, on The Guardian, by Amelia Hill, May 8, 2013;
2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Togo, on refworld, April 19, 2013;
video: Female Genital Mutilation Still Widespread in Egypt, 3.43 min, on Voice of America, by Elizabeth Arrott, April 30, 2013.
République démocratique du Congo (RDC) : pratique de l’excision des femmes, sa fréquence et les moyens mis en place pour l’empêcher: loi adoptée en la matière et protection offerte par l’État pour contrer cette pratique, dans refworld, le 3 mars 2013.