Cultural Complexities of Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Much of what I write is based of of things I see or hear in every day life. It should go without saying, then, that many of these topics are based on American life and American issues. I’m not blind when it comes to world wide issues, though – especially when it comes to women. Western society is not above criticism when it comes to gender equality, but women in other countries often face far greater problems than I ever will in suburban America. Nothing details this quite more clearly than FGM.

I’m often surprised when people don’t know what FGM means. I don’t know if it’s my education in human rights or my interest in feminism,  but FGM is a common term to me. It stands for female genital mutilation and is the act of marring a woman’s healthy genital area. The modification is usually based on some kind of cultural or religious belief. There are some cultures who believe a woman’s clitoris will grow into a penis if not cut off, making the act more about defining gender than anything else.

The actual act ranges from a simple prick to the clitoris to near complete removal of the outer sexual organ. Often called Type 3 FGM, this form involves the removal of the clitoris and labia minora. The labia majora are then sown together, leaving only a small hole to allow menstruation to pass through. The procedure is usually done on older girls and performed with  whatever is at hand, such as a piece of glass. There is no anesthesia, no antibiotics. It goes without saying that a number of women needlessly die from complications to the procedure.

Luckily, type 3 isn’t performed as much as other forms. Still, it’s a gruesome practice which should be erased from the modern era. That’s an opinion I hold today and it’s an opinion I held when I wrote my senior thesis on the subject. However, as I did my research, the conclusion I reached for the immediate future was not to eradicate the practice, but to sterilize it and promote lesser forms.

In my research, I read about communities where NGOs had been successful in replacing FGM with ceremonies or celebrations celebrating a coming of age for girls. I also saw a number of cases where people had tried to compromise only to be met with failure. For example, there was a news story years back (I’m not even sure it made waves) where an immigrant couple from the Sudan living in America went to a doctor requesting the procedure be performed on their daughters. They told him they would send their daughters to the Sudan if they had to, where the procedure would be done without sterilization or anesthesia. He talked them down to a simple prick of the clitoris – just enough to draw blood. They agreed, but then the law got involved. The doctor retracted his offer. The story ends there, but chances are those girls were sent to have the procedure done elsewhere.

This photo, “Changing lives for girls and women every week” is copyright (c) 2014 DFID - UK Department for International Development and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license
This photo, “Changing lives for girls and women every week” is copyright (c) 2014 DFID – UK Department for International Development and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

It was stories like these that proved to me there must be some kind of transition. We can’t just waltz into these other countries with our Western-based ideas about equality and human rights expecting to be taken seriously. Cultures can be respected and criticized at the same time. We can acknowledge and respect their way of life, their religion and anything else important to them while still frowning upon clear human rights abuses.

In most cases FGM is something not only performed on women, but by women. Whether or not a woman has had the procedure may determine whether or not she will be married. In cultures where a woman’s value is based on her husband and/or the children she bares, this is a huge motivating factor. Parents may not want to subject their daughters to FGM, but the alternative of being ostracized from their community may be even worse.

In my research, I stumbled upon a pilot program aimed at reducing AIDs. The program involved giving out clean needles for free to drug users in the streets. The program was rather successful in its objective, although some scoffed it promoted drug use (an opinion I disagree with).

Likewise, I proposed allowing trained doctors, in sterile environments with anesthesia and antibiotics at hand to perform certain forms of FGM. Before performing the procedure, parents and girls would be given some form of education, perhaps a pamphlet, explaining all the risks involved and promoting other ways to celebrate femininity. Maybe all they would do is choose a lesser form of FGM, but that’s still change. There’s still an understanding being developed that the procedure is unnecessary and wrong.

Such action would be step one, with the end goal being complete eradication of the procedure. There are so many other factors at hand when it comes to FGM. Would the procedure still be performed if women could be successful in their culture without being married?

Every fiber of my being wants to stand up and declare the horrors of FGM, to insist all its forms be ceased immediately and left to the history books. I understand the slow pace of culture, though. FGM won’t disappear overnight. It won’t disappear with UN declarations, treaties or laws just as dowries, outlawed in India, have not stopped dowries from existence in the country. People in that culture must be convinced the procedure is unnecessary and wrong. Such thinking will probably come along with the furthering of all women’s rights.

What do you think should be done to rid the world of FGM? How do we get people involved in these cultures to listen? Do you think the progression of global human rights might be hindered by the way Western societies push their way of life as the only ‘modern’ way to live?

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45 thoughts on “Cultural Complexities of Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)”

  1. I appreciate what you write about the potential for compromise because cultural imperialism is something that I balk at. However, my horror at FGM trumps the distaste for eradicating certain cultural practices. For me, in this instance specifically but possibly also generally, gender politics trumps the cultural politics. Probably that makes me guilty of westernized superciliousness but, for me, I think even performing these procedures in a safe and sterile way is a compromise too far.

    1. When I first started writing that thesis, I thought the same thing. To be honest, I still think the same thing. I’ve realized that, in order to achieve that, we have to do more than condemn. Even with something this horrible, we have to find some kind of understanding. I don’t want to push FDGM underground and I don’t want to make people feel like we’re forcing them to be ‘Western.’

      The fact that there has been success replacing the practice with a celebration or at least reducing the severity of the act shows that progress can be made. I feel like there’s a higher chance of completely ridding the world of FGM if we try to understand and respect the reasons why it’s performed. The change will be more cultural than anything else, though, since the law only goes so far. We have to try to change the minds of these cultures.

    2. One of my favourite moments from the Fables series of comics:

      When the Arabian Fables join Fabletown, they are told they will have to free their slaves. The Arabian Fables object, claiming that slave ownership is part of their culture. King Cole then says that Fabletown will honour their custom of owning slaves, if they agree to honour Fabletown’s custom of executing slaveholders wherever they find them. The Arabian Fables agree to free their slaves.

      I know we’re not talking about just people within our countries, but I love the scene from the comic :D.

      There are things worldwide that we need to eliminate. Owning women (or any people) as property, discrimination against people of different sexualities and FGM are all on that list.

      1. I do agree that FGM is one of those things that needs to be left to history. I am not saying we should just accept it and walk away. I worry that, by forcing people to stop, we’ll just push the practice further underground. Laws and force don’t eradicate something, they just suppress it. By spreading knowledge about the risk of the procedure, promoting women’s rights and attempting to replace it with less harmful and eventually harmless events, we can keep it gone for good.

        FGM is clearly wrong, but there’s so much more to it. What good does it do a women who was saved from FGM if she starves on the streets because no one wants an uncircumcised woman? There are people who are interested in less dramatic procedures and organizations who have successfully replaces the procedure entirely with a different way of celebrating femininity. There’s something there to help us eliminate FGM. Our insistence that the procedure stops must come with respect and understanding of the cultures practicing the procedure.

  2. I get what you’re saying about the slow shift. But if FGM is inherently a bad thing, then wouldn’t cultures that opposed FGM be inherently better than those that forced it on its women? That’s the big problem with cultural relativism. Sure western culture has its problems, but aren’t most other non-western cultures so much worse, especially for women?

    I see a lot of blogs and essays about how women around the world* need feminism, but the cases they use and examples they cite are so often ones in which the local culture and traditions and history come into play to where a better case could be made that these women need westernization more than they need feminism, because for better or for worse, I really don’t think that the latter can exist without the former.

    * to be read “the 3rd world”

    1. “But if FGM is inherently a bad thing, then wouldn’t cultures that opposed FGM be inherently better than those that forced it on its women?”

      I don’t think it’s so black and white. Those cultures who practice FGM have good aspects just as those cultures which oppose it have bad aspects. I once attending a Japanese culture fest. Their history has it’s own discrimination in it, but they were able to show the great parts of their history and culture, without enforcing the discriminatory aspects.

      So, I guess i disagree. I disagree with the idea that the western way is the only way. These women need feminism because a large part of why FGM is persistent in some countries is how women in general are treated. The only way many can survive is if they get married and have kids. If the only way you can get married is to get circumcised, then FGM is a requirement for your survival. If these women were allowed to hold their own jobs and get by without getting married, or if they were at least able to get married without having the procedure, I’d bet far less would undergo FGM.

      It’s all just so complex. I am 100% against FGM and believe it should be eliminated, but it needs to be gone for good, not just suppressed and forced underground.

  3. Ok, so you are right, that Western societies are wrong to ‘push’ their views and cultural norms upon other societies. However, we have been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years.

    The Crusades, the various colonial wars and invasions, slavery, missionaries and more recently organisations like the UN and charity workers have all (with various degrees of violence), impressed Western ideas and beliefs onto other cultures. Throughout almost all of history, we literally forced these cultures to take on our beliefs.

    For example, a lot of the anti-gay laws currently still existent in African countries are a leftover from colonisation and Christian missionaries forcing them to believe old Christian beliefs that homosexuality was wrong.

    There’s no question that the way we used to act towards ‘non-Western’ cultures was wrong – however, after spending hundreds of years forcing these people to take on our own (wrong and immoral) ideas and beliefs, are we really now going to shrink away from pressurising them to change – now, when at last our ideas and beliefs align with basic human rights?

    It’s not ok to force other people to take on your culture – BUT it’s much, much, less ok to mutilate young children in the name of ‘culture’ or ‘religion’. The Western world has (finally), realised it, and I believe it’s our duty to pass this new wisdom on. Firmly.

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying FGM is in any way okay. I’m saying, in the interest of effectively eliminating the practice for good, is forcing people to stop the way to go? We’ve seen people try to force people to stop things time and time again without a whole lot of luck.

      I think that FGM can most effectively be eliminated by spreading knowledge about the risk of the procedure, replacing the procedure with less invasive ones (or, ideally, completely difference ceremonies that don’t involve mutilation of any kind).

      In the end, I think women’s rights may hold the key. The more rights and choice women have in the way they live their life, the more FGM will go away.

      1. Exactly, and that is precisely why we should put pressure on places/peoples that practise female genital mutilation to stop – at the same time as doing anything we can to establish an understanding of the principles of sexism and human rights. So that people change their practises – because they’re put under pressure to do so – and then change their mindset – because they are educated. The problem I have with what you’re suggesting is that changing mindsets takes time – generally at least a generation – and I don’t think we can afford to let one more girl be cut than has to be. So change laws – crackdown on offenses, whilst simultaneously starting the long process of making people understand why their ancient practises are being condemned.

  4. Along these lines, I always have to think about the barbaric (from a European point of view) US states that still execute the death penalty. And allow guns for ordinary people. And have Guantanamo Bay. How should we change the American culture? If we have an answer to that question, maybe we then also have the mechanisms to change fgm/c ( the c for cutting, which is a more neutral term).

    1. I don’t necessarily agree with all of those things either, although I do think that FGM is worse. Someone else commented here that, if a culture that practices FGM is wrong, isn’t a culture that frowns upon FGM better? What you say here proves the world isn’t black and white. Being against something that’s wrong doesn’t stop a culture from being for something else wrong.

      1. I agree. And there is (i think) no ‘overall measuring rod’ to assess the value of cultures. However, what i wanted to think about is the reactions of ‘Texans’ or ‘Americans’ when their culture is criticized. Some will agree, some won’t bother, and many will say ‘keep your hands off of our culture, it’s ours!’ I guess it is the same with fgm/c.

        1. I think those issues should be approached in a similar way. Condemning a culture for being less than you doesn’t make anyone want to listen. You have to try and use their logic. it’s hard because you have to find a way to understand yourself why a culture may support something.

          For example, it cost more tax dollars to keep someone on death row and eventually kill them than it does to keep them in prison for life. That’s logic the American people would listen to.

    1. It should be. That’s a whole other blog post. For now, I’ll just say I’m against all forms of forced circumcision on all genders.

    2. Actually, it is a thing. MRA (Men’s right’s activists) go on about it all the time (MRAs go on about a lot of things that they don’t do much to combat, but that’s another point). There are key differences between FGM and circumcision, though. The most important ones in my eyes being 1. Pain and 2. Loss of feeling.
      1. Women who have been genitally mutilated often live in constant pain, and are at higher risk of all sorts of infections. Any children they have are more likely to have disabilities, and childbirth is a lot more dangerous. Women can be in pain when doing such normal things as going to the toilet or even walking. And the pain lasts your whole life. Male circumcision causes pain at the time of it being carried out, but that pain does not continue once the cut tissue has healed. Also, there are proven health benefits to male circumcision, and no negative medical side effects.
      2. Women who have been genitally mutilated very very rarely manage to feel any pleasure during sex, masturbation etc. In fact, sex is often very painful for them. The main centre of pleasure for women, the clitoris, is cut or cut out. This is also a lifelong effect. Male circumcision does not result in any lessening of sexual stimulation whatsoever.

      And I suppose, one more point to consider: 3. Conditions
      3. Women who are genitally mutilated hardly ever are mutilated in clean conditions, by a doctor, or even with a scalpel – often, thorns or dirty knives are used. Women (children, really), can and do die during or after the procedure – often from bloodloss. Male circumcision (in the West) takes place in hospitals, with doctors and clean instruments.

      I don’t think that it’s ever right to cut a child because of a belief or religion, and certainly not in the interests of ‘cleanliness’ – however, FGM is much, much more risky and painful, and its after-effects are much, much worse than male circumcision – therefore I believe that the priority should be to eradicate FGM.

      1. There is pain and loss of feeling in male circumcision, although not nearly to the degree women face with FGM. In my research, while constant pain could result, it wasn’t found to be common. There were also no links to more birth defects. Also, many women who had the procedure performed report pleasurable sex. Some theorize the body might make up for the loss of genital area by making other areas sensitive. What is and isn’t good sex is also culturally subjective. The women who report having a satisfying sex life report so based upon their own cultural expectations of what is and isn’t pleasurable.

        Women are able to achieve orgasm from the clitoris or from the vagina. The absence of one does not erase the other. And, as I said, there is a loss of feeling as a result of male circumcision. In comparing the two, I’d say male circumcision is most like mild forms of type one FGM (which is the most wildly practiced type).

        These are all things I learned through my research. I approached this topic thinking I’d see clearly all the assumptions I had about FGM. in comparing male and female circumcision, one things stands out. Male circumcision in the Western world underwent studies trying to prove it had a healthy effect as well as a spiritual purpose. That is why, to this day, people think male circumcision is necessary for health. No one ever tried to prove FGM was healthy in the same way.

        In the end, I believe Type 3 FGM should be the main target. Luckily, it’s the least practiced, but it should be wiped out entirely. I agree that FGM is a far larger problem than male circumcision. That said, my research into FGM is what eventually convinced me that male circumcision is also wrong. As these issues often are between men and women, the situation is more dire for women than men, but that doesn’t mean the wrong things that happen to men are less wrong. I would personally like to see all of it gone.

        1. “The absence of one does not erase the other…”

          Tell that to the swathes of women who can only achieve clitoral orgasms. Without it, I’d say the majority (without having asked too many) would be unable to achieve orgasm during sex.

          And I’m definitely against male circumcision. I have a foreskin and it plays a very important part in sex and masturbation.

          1. That may be true for some, but not all women. Either way, very interesting studies have shown most women who undergo FGM report pleasurable sex. The jury is out on how this could be. Some say the nerves in the vagina might work to compensate for the lost organ. Some theorize other parts of the body may become sensitive. There was a guy on a show called Strange Sex who was paralyzed from the waste down. He eventually discovered rubbing one of his thumbs provided the sexual stimulation he was no longer able to get from his penis.

            And I’m not saying there isn’t loss of sensation, but it’s not a 100% loss. Curious, how the body can change to compensate for certain injuries.

        2. As I stated, I would also want all forms of genital cutting to be gone. I don’t think there is ever any excuse for it. Obviously.
          But everything I’ve ever heard (apart from your blogpost) about FGM has indicated that the pain and long lasting effects are a lot more severe than you state. I’d like to know what your research involved? Were there any particular studies you worked from?

          As for male circumcision, I’m sure it involves some pain and some loss of feeling, but the fact remains that FGM involves damage (or the complete removal) of the main ‘pleasure centre’ on a woman’s body – the place which has the most concentrated collection of nerve endings – and male circumcision does not. It is the head of the penis that is the most sensitive part of the male body, not the foreskin. So whatever loss of sensation occurs, there is no damage done to the central ‘pleasure spot’. I just think that there is a distinction to be made there and that it should be acknowledged.

          1. I contest the idea that 100% of women live in constant pain and 100% of the women have 100% no feeling. When it comes to FGM, most people think of type 3, the worst form. Those things might be true of that one. The majority are type 1 and, while that’s still not something that should be happening, it’s not nearly as bad as type 3.

            There is a distinction between male and female circumcision. I do think FGM in all it’s forms is worse than male circumcision. That said, I find male circumcision to be wrong for the same reasons I think FGM are wrong.

            I actually found my senior thesis, so you can read the whole thing if you want. Shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you if I want to talk further. I just want to emphasis that I am not in any way okay with FGM. I am thinking about the best, most effective way to eradicate it.It is my opinion that the answer isn’t as cut and dry as we think. I don’t want to push it underground. I don’t want to make people think Western culture is better than theirs. We need to understand why it still happens and attack that as much as the procedure itself. For example, if most parents are doing so because it’s the only way their daughter will be able to survive when they die because she can only survive with a husband and she can only get a husband with FGM, is that really so terrible? What I mean is, is their intention terrible. They may not like what they have to do, but they have to make a decision. We have to do more than say stop. They’re not going to feel too grateful if we save their daughter from FGM and she’s now starving in the streets because of it.

            Anyway, let me know if you want to read it. Otherwise, here’s my complete works cited.:

            > “Abandoning Female Genital Cutting.” Tostan ~ Education about African Women’s Health and Human Rights. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. .
            > Bowman, Kirsten. “Comment: Bridging the Gap in the Hopes of Ending Female Genital Cutting.” Santa Clara Journal of International Law. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. .
            > Cowan, Jane K., Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, and Richard Wilson. Culture and Rights: Anthropological Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. Print.
            > Dirie, Mahdi, and Gunilla Lindmark. “Female Circumcision in Somalia and Women’s Motives.” Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica 70.7 (1991): 581-85. Print.
            > “Female Genital Mutilation.” World Health Organization. Feb. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. .
            > Genital Cutting and Transnational Sisterhood : Disputing U.S. Polemics. Eds. Stanlie M. (Stanlie Myrise) James and Claire C. Robertson. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2002. Print.
            > Gruenbaum, Ellen. The Female Circumcision Controversy : An Anthropological Perspective / Ellen Gruenbaum. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. Print.
            > Nambia. Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare. Consent to Medical Treatment Contraceptives and Testing. Windhoek: , Web. .
            > Newland, Lynda. “Female Circumcision: Muslim Identities and Zero Tolerance Policies in Rural West Java.” Women’s Studies International Forum 29.4 (2006): 394-404. Print.
            > Obaid, Thoraya. “Frequently Asked Questions on Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting.” Promoting Gender Equality. United Nations Population Fund. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. .
            > Shell-Duncan, Bettina. “The Medicalization of Female ‘Circumcision’: Harm Reduction Or Promotion of a Dangerous Practice?” Social science & medicine 52.7 (2001): 1013. Print.
            > Solomon, L. M., and R. C. Noll. “Male Versus Female Genital Alteration: Differences in Legal, Medical, and Socioethical Responses.” Gender Medicine 4.2 (2007): 89-96. Print.
            > Taking Sides. Clashing Views on Controversial African Issues / Selected, Edited, and with Introductions by William G. Moseley. Ed. William G. Moseley. Guilford, Conn. : McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2004. Print. > Clashing Views on Controversial African Issues .
            UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III), available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b3712c.html [accessed 29 April 2012]
            > Walby, Sylvia. “Theorising Patriarchy.” Sociology 23.2 (1989): 213-34. Print.
            > World Health Organization. “Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation: An Interagency Statement.” (2008)Print.
            > World Health Organization, “Female Genital Mutilation: Report of a Technical Working Group” (Geneva: WHO, 1996).

  5. In my borough of London, roughly 65,000 girls are considered to be at risk of FGM. So first, I think a cultural imperative should be removed from this issue, as culturally they are now part and parcel of the general culture of London. It’s one of flawed traditions that stem from a flawed ideology. ISIS are in the process of re-introducing it to Iraq, a practice that Arab Nationalist had done away with. Next, this is actually a criminal act, first and foremost it is mutilation, here in the UK it was legislated against in 1985 as GBH couldn’t cover the aspect of “consent”. Finally, I don’t believe that the “west” has much real interest in dealing with it as during our colonial period we would have stamped out that practice, as we did with local customs and traditions that we didn’t like.

    As I said there are 65,000 girls at risk in my patch of East London, these girls will be known to schools, social services and the NHS, frankly, if time and money was invested by the local authority, the target families could be dealt with earlier and re-educated or prosecutions brought after the fact. That way the west could send a clear signal that this practice of mutilation (lets call it that rather than a trite acronym) will not be tolerated. FFS, the British Colonial office could have stamped out 200 years ago during our Imperialist period.

    1. This is just proof that making a law doesn’t eradicate anything. I like what you say here, though: “frankly, if time and money was invested by the local authority, the target families could be dealt with earlier and re-educated or prosecutions brought after the fact.”

      That’s really what I’d like to see around the world. I suppose it might seem terrible to provide that education, including education on how sterile environments and antibiotics don’t eliminate risks, and then allow them to still choose the procedure to be done. I just feel like, with that information in hand, the girl in question would know and be able to say yes or no for herself. And, if after all that information, she and her parents/community still want it done, at least she might choose a lesser form. At least she will be in a place able to treat complications. But, I’m betting on most people being against the procedure altogether after learning the realities of the procedure (and being provided with safe alternatives, such as a celebration, to commemorate femininity)

      1. Lawmaking isn’t intended to eradicate, it reduces a problem by imposing sanctions and then allows for the judicial system to punish those who transgress it. I was just showing that it’s been a known problem in the UK for over a generation yet little or no money has been spent trying to alter behaviour.

        Law and punishment are reactive to a problem, where as education is pro active and brings about change.

        Somehow this practice (or both with respect to males) needs to be stopped

  6. I only learned about FGM two years ago and I was horrified. I watched an English documentary about African girls who had it done at a young age but were English residents. Apparently it’s outlawed in England and it is a criminal offence to perform it. It’s so unfortunate that parents are still getting together to have a woman fly in to perform this on their girls. Absolutely mind blowing in this generation that such things are still going on. And even more sad that because of culture that it’s still done to prevent girls being thought of as unclean or messed with if they don’t have a form of FGM. It has to end.

    1. It really does. The worst forms are just gut wrenching. I was happy to find out that at least most procedures are the lesser forms. That’s only a little relief, though. I can’t fathom that kind of pain.

  7. “What do you think should be done to rid the world of FGM? How do we get people involved in these cultures to listen? Do you think the progression of global human rights might be hindered by the way Western societies push their way of life as the only ‘modern’ way to live?”

    All these humans rights issues are related. This is part of why I can’t really respect any culture or religion that continues to teach that female genital mutilation, abortion, or slavery is an acceptable practice. It is nearly impossible to isolate just one issue.

    Something that could be very relevant to the discussion of FGM is male circumcision. That is another debate that would also be difficult to discuss without starting a major war. However, I think it is a good place to start. In general, do people have the right to decide what to cut off of other people’s genitals? I think not.

    1. ” In general, do people have the right to decide what to cut off of other people’s genitals? I think not.”

      My thoughts exactly. After learning all the facts about FGM, I don’t see male circumcision as being much different than type one FGM. It’s not even so much about the mutilation itself, it’s about choice being taken away from another human being.

      1. For me it is about the mutilation itself. However, it does take away a choice of the person too. Sometimes I think of this when I see that a baby has had its ears pierced. Just what is this obsession with people making their children something that they want.

        1. The mutilation is an issue, but say someone was an adult and freely chose to be circumcised. That I would have no problem with so long as the individual is making the choice for themself.

  8. Excellent post. Going to post a link to it on our church Facebook page. Cultural imperialism isn’t the way to change the world, but, nonetheless, we do need to work to move some things into past and forgotten history.

    1. Exactly. Things can and do change, but people will resit cultural imperialism. If we want to eliminate FGM, we have to approach those cultures without acting like we are better than them.

  9. I recently watched a movie based on FGM and if you haven’t already then you should. Its a real life story of a woman who went on to become a super model who had initially been mutilated. The name of the movie is DESERT FLOWER 🙂 Its a must watch!

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