Ever heard of ‘INFIBULATION’?
Also called FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is the practice of excising the clitoris and labia of a girl or woman and stitching together the edges of the vulva to prevent sexual intercourse. It is the complete scrapping of vagina and stitching it together to prevent the girl from having sex. The vagina is sealed leaving a small hole for the girl to menstruate or urinate.
FGM is usually performed by traditional circumcisers; women who have a high reputation within their societies. It is also performed by traditional midwives and occasionally by healers, nurses or doctors trained in Western medicine. The procedure is usually performed without anaesthetic and under dreadful and unhygienic circumstances. Usually razors, knives, scissors or a piece of broken glass, which are mostly not disinfected.
The girl’s legs are tied with rope for days so that the wound can heal. It usually take 15 to 40 days for the wound to heal. During this period the girl’s legs remain tied and she is prevented from moving.
Basically, the stitches are meant to be reopen by her husband on the wedding night so he can have intimate with her. Imagine someone opening stitches and immediately having sex with her. Just imagine the pains, I mean serious pains!! Imagine the traumatic experience, the pains the girl will pass through.
At birth many women have to be cut again because the vagina opening is too small for the passage of the baby. It also causes urinary tract infections in women, fistulae and infertility etc.
This unethical practice is still prevalent in the tribal communities of South Africa. Other than that, people from these communities when migrate to other countrie keep this unethical practice alive.
As per WHO more than 200 million women suffer from FGM worldwide. According to research, it was also practised in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
It’s disheartening that it is one of most ignored women issues.