FEEBLE GLOBAL ANTI- FGM CAMPAIGN 

Female Genital Mutilation is a volatile global issue that defies solution, and with an estimated 100 to 140 girls and women already affected worldwide. The harmful, old, medically unnecessary practice that involves partial or total removal of girls and or women external genitalia, although declared illegal by the United Nations, continues to be practiced in some twenty-eight African countries, the Middle-East, South Asian regions, among Egyptians, Pakistanis/Indians, Indonesians, Kurdish and Yemen plus others. The practice has surreptitiously become global due to increased migration to the West. Practitioners claim either religious doctrine or cultural-traditional customs.

The battle between anti-FGM campaigners and its local proponents remains fierce in many places. Four female journalists in Sierra Leone, West Africa, in August, 2012, were physically attacked by the Bondo women secret Society members in Kenema, one of Sierra Leone’s largest cities. The journalists were reportedly abducted, stripped, and marched through the city after being accused of reporting on an anti-FGM campaign. Police and human rights organizations had to intervene to free the women, and FGM continues to be practiced, even if illegally, throughout Africa. For instant, the customary power bases of women in Sierra Leone lie in the secret societies. Women who administer puberty rites are revered, feared and believed to hold supernatural powers. Membership in these secret societies, remain for life. This forms the strongest motivation for especially rural girls who are enthusiastic for the female circumcision as badge of honor, a license and an acceptance into womanhood. (LINK:–www.awoko.org)

Medical researchers have consistently warned and confirmed that the extreme forms of FGM (often performed without anaesthetics) which leave girls in agony and  psychological trauma, can in adulthood be linked to risk of female infertility in later life. A similar phenomenon pervades among African and Middle-Eastern immigrant families to the West who have devised new methods to circumvent the European and American legislation against female circumcision in their new home land. Rather than risk being caught taking  young girls back to home countries during the summer holidays to be circumcised, old maternal birth attendants are brought to European and American cities to secretly do the cutting at specially organized social “Parties” in immigrants’ house basements. The feeble enforcement of enacted legislation is yet to be given some teeth to legally punish offending parents who insist on keeping the harmful practice.

Politicians are fearful of openly offending organized women voters especially in the Third-world countries for obvious reasons, their heads buried in the sand, as if praying for the problem to go away by itself. They participate in making anti-FGM proclamations at the United Nations and International Donor Agencies gatherings simply for show! Even when many countries do legislate against female genital mutilation, the local enforcement agencies are hardly provided with adequate resources to implement the law. One would be pardoned for concluding that our World leaders do not care to stop the girl-child and women Human Rights abuse being perpetrated through this harmful practice.

The young male generation, who should be caught young, co-opted into the anti-FGM crusade through timely vigorous public education is left ignorant as they grow into adulthood. Unless the Western countries take a conscious lead in prohibiting the practice on their soil, make it an openly punishable offence against humanity, up to two million girl-child and women are yearly doomed to continue to suffer in silence from generation to generation!