Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Female Genital Mutilation- Where are our men?

As we continue campaigning against the horrific practice of female genital mutilation, most known activists are women. Well, that does not sound right! Of course men are involved in this campaign. Some of the cited reasons why this practice continues include enhancing male sexual pleasure (???), controlling women, stopping women from enjoying sex etc. It s a familiar tale. It has to be remembered however that when female genital mutilation takes place whether its (clitoridectomy, excision or infibulations), men are usually not present. In the case of Type 1V (pulling or cauterization etc), men are always to be kept in the dark. This is seen as purely a women business. We know that both in Africa and Europe, men are as disgusted as women by this practice.

Here is my story:

I had just got home from work when my phone rang. It was a frantic father who wanted my help. The conversation between us went as follows,

‘Abbie, please help me! I do not want my daughter to be cut. This is a useless, unnecessary and painful practice that I don’t wish on any child’. The father was concerned that her wife was likely to have their daughter cut. At the time when I received the call, the wife had disappeared with the kids, a boy and a girl. The couple both came from a country where female genital mutilation is highly prevalent. While the husband embraced change, the wife who had been cut twenty years before believed the young girl should have to go through the same procedure which resulted in their constant arguing.

Action had to be taken.

I won’t go into detail except to say that there are fathers and brothers who are really against female genital mutilation.

Working together is key!

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