Clitoridectomy in Africa

26 Apr

Clitoridectomy in the Muslim Community!

(PROs) *Interview of villagers*

Taking away a young child’s sexual part before she even realizes what was taken from her. Clitoridectomy. Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is defined by the World Health Organization as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (Wikipedia). Clitoridectomy is a term that is most commonly used to describe what goes on in Muslim communities.  Girls at a very young age are being circumcised because it is the common cultural thing to do. The country I chose to turn my focus to was Egypt. In my opinion I do not agree with what goes on in the Muslim community but instead of being bias about the topic I sought to find out the pros and cons to this style of circumcision and why people speak so strongly about this topic. For years this has been a somewhat sensitive topic for many. Some women from the Muslim culture agree with it because it is something that has been practiced for years while some disagree because of the pain and psychological things that come along with it. In this video there are many questions that are being raised. Is circumcision harmful to the girls? Why are people’s little girls being circumcised? How will this benefit them in the future? Various people from the villages were interviewed to figure out exactly what are women’s views on this topic.

The ones who are against the practice of the removal of the clitoris state that Muslim women are “failing to please their husbands” (video), because they were circumcised at young ages by their families. Clitoridectomy is not just being practiced in villages, but everywhere no matter the class level. It is being performed throughout various Muslim societies. Many see this as a Barbaric Act and by performing it, eliminates the woman’s sensation during sex. How can one be put through this type of operation which for the most part is un-sanitary? Who are they to judge whether or not a woman can keep the only thing that would cause her to enjoy sex! This is a very cruel act to me. The surgery in fact does not have a positive effect on girls but rather a negative effect because “procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating… potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths” (world health organization). On the other hand the ones who practice this way of life have some pretty valid reasons as to why this is acceptable in their culture and community!

The ones who are for the practice of the removal of the clitoris were questioned by Egyptian news casters. They were asked “What do people think in simple villages?”  “Why do they circumcise their girls?” WHY? Media people want to know that after all that has been said in the media and after all the doctors and religious scholars that they have met with, why do they still insist on circumcising their girls? 

** Egyptian Muslim Women are interviewed to see what their opinion is when it comes to the clitoridectomies, is it okay to do?**

Their responses: Circumcision is part of the Sunna, which is a social and legal custom and practices of the Muslim communities. The practice of Circumcision comes from the Hadith (Shariah Law). In this practice children are taken to private doctors and the procedure is done there. “Isn’t this cruel?” ask the reporter, one lady responds by saying no, that circumcision protects them and makes them ‘calm’. Women should be circumcised to protect themselves.  “It does not harm us, we are used to it”, states another women from the video. In their culture not following along with this is not being part of the norm. Their argument as to why this is safe and okay to do is that now in our day and age there is modern medicine which causes them to not feel a thing. Although going to the doctor is safe for doctors to do, what happens to the ones that cannot afford this? Well, they go to someone called the daya. The daya is not really used as much anymore since they were banned but they are someone with in the village who performs the procedure for a much lesser cost. Although this may seem cheaper and better…it is not. Most likely the sanitation is not that good because the girls are taken in to a tent and the procedure is done there. It is performed in warm water and the little girls scream and cry. It has been proven that this causes psychological problems for them but no one really cares. The instrument that is used is normally a rusted knife which of course will cause infection! Does this seem cruel to you? 

Well, coming from a religious side this is of course is seen as a good thing, a ritual. Although it may harm the girl, she gets ‘good’ results in the end. I don’t mean to be bias but I do not agree with this! How can someone determine whether or not if they can remove someone else’s sexual organ! On the other hand anyone who isn’t within that religion would see this as unfit for a little girl. It’s hard to choose as to whether or not this is okay. In our Society today in America, this of course isn’t practiced amongst us so being that it is not part of our ‘social norm’ it doesn’t seem fit for our little girls here in the US. In reference to, how can we change this horrible act? I don’t think that is possible! Someone will always be willing to continue to follow the rituals of their religion!  The only thing that we can try to do is spread awareness of what is going on in some Muslim communities!

Work Cited:)



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