FOR THE SAKE OF PURITY (AND CONTROL): FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
By Mehar Chowdhry(31/08/2020 18:00 IST)
Our society so much refrains from empowering women that often norms which are baseless and rituals that have no meaning are made and conducted against women and are constantly made up. Be it in the primitive times or the recent, the society has always refused to give women the respect and freedom that they deserve.
In this piece I will hereby talk about a practice which is being carried out since ages against women, just to empower patriarchy and suppress women----FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION. This term is called FGM for short and the biological term for it is “clitoridectomy”. Some of you must be hearing and reading about this for the first time, so basically FGM involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
It’s more horrific to experience it than to just hear about it. This practice is done to girls when they are still a new born child or when they are fifteen years of age. Here are some facts given by WHO (World Health Organization) about FGM:
1. The practice has no health benefits for girls and women.
2. FGM can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections as well as complications during childbirth and increased risk of infant deaths.
3. Violation of human rights of girls and women.
4. More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia.
Adding on to this, the practice involves four types:
Type 1: Partial or total removal of clitoral glands(the external visible part of clitoris).
Type 2: Partial or total removal of clitoral glands and lalvia minora (the inner folds of vulva).
Type 3: Narrowing of vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal.
Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to female genitalia for non-medical purposes, eg; pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.
This practice is carried out with instruments such as razor blade, scissor, needle and sometimes a broken piece of glass and the process is done by a kin lady under no medical surveillance. Can you imagine someone being such evil under the skin of a human? FGM is simply gut-churning and disgusting.
But what is the reason behind conducting this practice? Well, as we all know that a woman’s virginity is considered her token for her purity. She cannot lose it before marriage, if she does she becomes impure for her husband and is in “no need” for him. A woman’s virginity is indeed considered “pleasurable” and “desirable” for a man and only for this purpose, is this practice carried out.
FGM not only damages the physical but also the mental health of a woman. It hurts her dignity and questions her existence as a woman because this type of treatment is not also deserved by an animal too.
This practice suppresses a woman’s sexuality by instilling in them the fear of having sex before marriage and the fear of breaking that seal.
Some countries have made FGM illegal but still the practice is carried out. To curb it, individuals from the communities where this happens should stand-up and educate how this adversely affects a woman’s body to others in community. Culturally sensitive programs should be conducted. It’s time we stop being monstrous and start being human and act humanly towards women and to help rise instead of suppressing them.
- Personal Observations