The summer holiday is now here and schools are shut. People will travel abroad and some families will have visitors coming from abroad. Ladies and gentlemen I would like to remind you of the dangers that our young girls and women will be facing. Summer is the Female genital mutilation cutting season and we have to be vigilant. For many families in certain communities who can afford to travel, this is when they can go abroad, have their girls cut and join the millions of girls who are abused through this procedure throughout the world. These are only innocent girls who happen to have been born into families believing in archaic traditions. We know what this can mean:
· Severe loss of blood (haemorrhaging), sometimes leading to death
· Severe pain or shock
· Urine retention
· Extensive damage of the external reproductive system
· Complications in pregnancy and child birth
· Problems during sexual intercourse/sexuality
· Mental health problems/Psychological and psycho-sexual problems
· A combination of any or all of the above
Remember, girls can be cut anywhere in the world. They don’t have to leave these shores. It is true people do have family visiting from abroad. Of couse, most of these visits are genuine but others may be from excisors.
So let’s all be vigilant this summer and look out for signs of unusual activities. Female genital mutilation is real and people are still doing it despite all the campaigns and the obvious dangers.
Together we can end this practice.