FGM Program

ANTI FGM PROGRAM

Thursday, 18 August 2016 11:35
Zero tolerance to FGM Zero tolerance to FGM

WHERE DOES THE PRACTICE COME FROM?

The origins of the practice are unclear. It predates the rise of Christianity and Islam. It is said some Egyptian mummies display characteristics of FGM. Historians such as Herodotus claim that, in the fifth century BC, the Phoenicians, the Hittites and the Ethiopians practiced circumcision. It is also reported that circumcision rites were practiced in tropical zones of Africa, in the Philippines, by certain tribes in the Upper Amazon, by women of the Arunta tribe in Australia, and by certain early Romans and Arabs. As recent as the 1950s, clitoridectomy was practiced in Western Europe and the United States to treat perceived ailments including hysteria, epilepsy, mental disorders, masturbation, nymphomania and melancholia. In other words, the practice of FGM has been followed by many different peoples and societies across the ages and continents.

AT WHAT AGE IS FGM PERFORMED?

It varies. In some areas, FGM is carried out during infancy – as early as a couple of days after birth. In others, it takes place during childhood, at the time of marriage, during a woman's first pregnancy or after the birth of her first child. Recent reports suggest that the age has been dropping in some areas, with the Abagusii people carrying out on girls between the ages of 2 and 12 years.

WHO PERFORMS FGM?

 FGM is usually carried out by elderly people in the community (usually, but not exclusively, women) designated to perform this task or by traditional birth attendants. Among certain populations, FGM may be carried out by traditional health practitioners, (male) barbers, and members of secret societies, herbalists or sometimes a female relative. Though amongst the Abagusii people, woman traditional practioners are entirely entrusted to conduct the practice. However, with FGM trends changing, medical professionals are getting involved more in conducting FGM which is referred to “Medicalization” of FGM. According to recent UNFPA’s estimates, around one in five girls subjected to FGM were cut by a trained health-care provider. 

WHY IS FGM PERFORMED?

 In every society in which it is practiced, female genital mutilation is a manifestation of deeply entrenched gender inequality. Where it is widely practiced, FGM is supported by both men and women, usually without question, and anyone that does not follow the norm may face condemnation, harassment and ostracism. It may be difficult for families to abandon the practice without support from the wider community. In fact, it is often practiced even when it is known to inflict harm upon girls because the perceived social benefits of the practice are deemed higher than its disadvantages. The reasons given for practicing FGM fall generally into five categories:

Psychosexual reasons: FGM is carried out as a way to control women’s sexuality, which is sometimes said to be insatiable if parts of the genitalia, especially the clitoris, are not removed. It is thought to ensure virginity before marriage and fidelity afterward, and to increase male sexual pleasure.
Sociological and cultural reasons: FGM is seen as part of a girl’s initiation into womanhood and as an intrinsic part of a community’s cultural heritage. Sometimes myths about female genitalia (e.g., that an uncut clitoris will grow to the size of a penis, or that FGM will enhance fertility or promote child survival) perpetuate the practice.
Hygiene and aesthetic reasons: In some communities, the external female genitalia are considered dirty and ugly and are removed, ostensibly to promote hygiene and aesthetic appeal.
Religious reasons: Although FGM is not endorsed by either Islam or by Christianity, supposed religious doctrine is often used to justify the practice.
Socio-economic factors: In many communities, FGM is a prerequisite for marriage. Where women are largely dependent on men, economic necessity can be a major driver of the procedure. FGM sometimes is a prerequisite for the right to inherit. It may also be a major income source for practitioners.

HEALTH EFFECTS OF FGM

Did you know that FGM could be having possible health effects in the girl’s life? And some could be fatal while some could result later in life when she is a full grown woman? However, the effects are dependent on different factors i.e. the type of FGM performed, the expertise of the FGM practitioners the environment and hygienic conditions under which it’s performed, the struggle and resistance involved during conduct of the practice and the general health condition of the girl/woman undergoing the procedure.

IMMEDIATE COMPLICATIONS:

 1.      Severe pain.

2.      Shock.

3.      Hemorrhage.

4.      Tetanus Infection.

5.      Urine retention.

6.      Ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissues.

7.      Wound infection.

8.      Urinary tract infection.

9.      Fever.

10.  Septicemia.

NOTE: Hemorrhage and infection can be severe enough to cause death.

LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES.

1.      Complications during child birth.

2.      Anemia.

3.      Formation of cysts and abscesses.

4.      Keloid scar formation.

5.      Damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence.

6.      Dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse)

7.      Sexual dysfunction.

8.      Hypersensitivity of the genital area.

9.      Increased risk of HIV transmission.

10.  Still birth.

11.  Vaginal obstruction resulting in the accumulation of menstrual flow in the vagina and uterus.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF FGM.

The cruelty of the practice may cause severe stress and lead to behavioral abnormalities in young girls and women. This also leads to loss of trust in their parents and guardians. IN the long term women may suffer depression and anxiety and later on marriage issues that could lead to divorce or abusive marriages.

WHAT INSTRUMENTS ARE USED TO PERFORM FGM?

FGM is carried out with special knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass or razor blades. Anesthetic and antiseptics are generally not used unless the procedure is carried out by medical practitioners. In communities where infibulations is practiced, girls' legs are often bound together to immobilize them for 10-14 days, allowing the formation of scar tissue.

WHAT DO WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED FGM SAY ABOUT IT THEMSELVES?

Women around the world are speaking out about their experiences and advocating change.

 

 

Manga Heart

The manga heart orphan care is a community based organization situated along the kisii-Nyamira road.

Contact

Omosocho Market
Kisii, Kenya.
Email : info@mangaheartkenya.org

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