Girl Movement Because I’m A Girl Supports International Day Of Zero Tolerance To Female Genital Muti

By: Toan Dinh

Join the world is standing up for the right of girls to say no to Female Genital Mutilation. Today is International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Maybe the most violent act that a girl is forced to undergo, Female Genital Mutilation [FGM] is a violent and unnecessary procedure and it always breaks my heart to read the trauma that girls go through during this procedure. The permanent disfigurement of a girl’s genitalia is a violation of their dignity and over 100 million girls around the world have had to endure FGM.

"The feeling was indescribable. I didn’t move, telling myself the more I did, the longer the torture would take. Unfortunately, my legs began to quiver and shake uncontrollably of their own accord, and I prayed, Please, God, let it be over quickly. Soon it was, because I passed out. Lying there alone with my legs still tied, I could do nothing but wonder, why? What was it all for? At that age I didn’t understand anything about sex. All I knew was that I had been butchered with my mother’s permission. I suffered as a result of my circumcision, but I was lucky. Many girls die from bleeding to death, shock, infection or tetanus. Considering the conditions in which the procedure is performed, it’s surprising that any of us survive." Waris Darie.

The Facts:

• Female genital mutilation/cutting [FGM/C], or female genital cutting, refers to a number of practices which involve cutting away part or all of a girl’s external genitalia.

• Mutilated/cut infants, girls and women face irreversible lifelong health risks.

• Approximately 100 to 140 million girls and women living today have been subjected to FGM/C in Africa and Yemen.

• This act is carried out for religious reasons, perceived health, sociological and sexual reasons. FGM creates irreparable damage and has no known benefits to girls.

• The side effects of FGM are frequently infection that can lead to death, infertility, decreased sexual pleasure, intense pain, intense trauma and many other physical and psychological damages.

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Not only is the procedure painful and traumatic, the practice of FGM takes place in areas that don’t necessarily have access to the best medical facilities if any at all. In a violent twist this already abusive procedure is sometimes carried out with any sharp object that can be found from a knife to a rusty tin can and just about anything in between. Abuse against girls doesn’t get much worse than FGM, especially when it is considered by many religions and societies to be a rite of passage from girl to woman.

Is the practice going to be afflicting girls forever? The more education given to people about the dangerous health implications and the traumatic side effects of this unnecessary procedure hopefully will make FGM stop. There is some good news: countries like Ethiopia, Uganda, Senegal and Burkina Faso are working hard to end FGM in their countries. But, there is still a lot to do and the international community – and individuals like you – need to continue to put pressure on countries where FGM is common to ban the practice.

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Team Because I am a Girl is Plan Canada’s administrators of the Because I am a Girl blog. For more information, visit

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