Is the U.N. going to ban female genital mutilation?

Hunh, the U.N. still has the power to do something good? Imagine that.

The article below by Emma Batha points out that it is not only Islamic cultures practicing this atrocious abuse against females but also that the “tradition” is pre-Islamic and can be found among Christians and others in various cultures. However, it should be noted that female genital mutilation (“FGM”) most assuredly is justified using Islamic texts, and most of its victims are Muslim.

In this regard, almost all females in Egyptian villages are mutilated, and some 90% of females in Egyptian cities are as well, despite the governmental ban over a decade ago. Moreover, Islamic leaders in Egypt are calling for legal reinstatement of the practice, which obviously is justified therefore by Muslim authorities as an Islamic tradition, despite the fact that FGM was practiced in pre-Islamic Egypt. In reality, the women in Egypt are told that they must ignore the ban and continue to mutilate their girls specifically because Allah has ordained the practice for “purification” purposes.

“The Prophet has ruled that this thing must be done.”

-Sheikh Ashraf, insisting that FGM is ordained by Islam

Note also that as FGM-practicing peoples migrate, this anti-female violence is being brought with them, so it is now occurring in Europe, Australia, Canada and Smalltown, USA. Over seven years ago, I was shocked by the mother of a nurse in a small American town telling me that the emergency room there was seeing young FGM victims, so it’s been happening in the United States for quite some time.

UN set to ban female genital cutting

* Scourge affects 140 million women and girls worldwide

* Campaigners compare psychological effects to rape

* U.N. resolution seen as powerful tool for activists

By Emma Batha

LONDON (TrustLaw) – At seven years old, Khady Koita’s childhood was torn apart when she was pinned down and attacked by two women wielding a razor blade. The violence inflicted on her that day would change her life forever.

On Monday, Koita, a leading figure in the campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM), will join other high-profile activists at the United Nations to drum up support for a global ban on a practice forced on millions of children every year.

“FGM is horrific, brutal, degrading and indefensible,” said Koita, who was born in Senegal and now lives in Brussels. “My big hope is that one day no girl will have to go through what I have been through.”

The move to stamp out FGM – which is widely practised in Africa and pockets of the Middle East and Asia – is being driven by African member states of the United Nations, led by Burkina Faso.

They are now applying the finishing touches to a draft resolution banning FGM to be presented to the U.N. General Assembly in early October. It is expected to be adopted in December.

An estimated 140 million girls and women have undergone FGM, which can cause serious physical and emotional damage. Campaigners liken the psychological effects of FGM to those of rape.

“It is important that women like me who have suffered so much from this humiliation … and who have the privilege to be able to shout our rage, that we do so for those who can’t,” said Koita, founder of campaign group La Palabre.

In Africa, FGM is practised in 28 countries from Senegal in the west to Somalia in the east. Other places it is found include Yemen, Iraqi Kurdistan and Indonesia.

Many believe it preserves a girl’s virginity and see it is an important rite of passage and prerequisite for marriage. Parents say it is done out of love because it purifies the girl and brings her status.

FGM ranges from the partial or total removal of the clitoris to the most extreme form called infibulation, in which all external genitalia are cut off and the vaginal opening is stitched closed.

It is usually arranged by the women in the family and performed by traditional cutters who use anything from scissors to broken glass and tin can lids.

FGM can cause haemorrhaging, shock, chronic pain, recurrent urinary tract infections, cysts, menstrual problems and infertility. It increases the risk of labour complications and newborn deaths.

The procedure itself can prove fatal. “About 6,000 to 8,000 girls are mutilated every day,” Koita said. “No one knows how many die.”

Mutilated at seven years old, the woman in this story working to end this abominable practice has the ability to broach this agonizing subject because of our “Western” democracies, so let us please not allow our societies to be destroyed, as they are the safe havens for asylum seekers like her.

Kurdish mullah: Female genital mutilation ‘is an obligation’ in Islam

Further Reading

Female genital mutilation
A mutilated woman speaks out
Religious views of female genital mutilation
“Circumcision is Evil”
Female genital mutilation rife in Egypt despite ban
Avaaz petition to stop FGM in the UK
NoFGM.org
End FGM (Europe) by Amnesty International
Cote d’Ivoire: Punish Those Carrying Out FGM, Say Campaigners

© 2014 Freethought Nation, Acharya S, D.M. Murdock & Stellar House Publishing
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