In 2020, Adebisi, a 17-year-old young girl from Gbongan in Osun State recounted her horrid experience as a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM).
While narrating her experience, the young lady explained that she suffered excruciating pain after she had clitoridectomy (excision of the clitoris) as a result of the circumcision. However, this barbaric act left an unhealed defect on 17-year-old Adebisi with everlasting pain to nurse.
“My dad and my mum were separated when I was six years old and my mum told me that there was a ritual I must go through to be able to stay focused in life. I didn’t know what she meant by ritual not until she took me to a traditional circumciser, the Olola’s house.
“A man and a woman held me to the ground and I was afraid. The next thing I saw was a razor blade with which Olola cut through my genitals. I cried because of the great pain I felt, my cloth was soaked with blood. I called my mum for rescue but she was far away until the man was through.
“However, she made me rest a bit at Olola’s house before we went home. Also, nothing was used to clean me up, it was my mum that used her cloth to clean the blood before we went home. Just as we got home, and when I awoke, I saw that she had covered my wound with cotton wool laced with a substance. Eleven years later, I still feel the pain occasionally. Life has not been the same since I was cut and whenever I remember that day, I feel so sad,” she recounted.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a traditional detrimental practice that involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or another injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
The practice is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and as an extreme form of gender discrimination, reflecting deep-rooted inequality between the sexes.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in Nigeria, with an estimated 19.9 million survivors, Nigeria accounts for the third-highest number of women and girls who have undergone FGM worldwide.
It is estimated that more than 200 Million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in the countries where the practice is concentrated. Annually, an estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation, the majority of whom are cut before they turn 15 years old.
The World Health Organization, WHO also confirmed that FGM has no health benefits. According to WHO, “It can lead to not only immediate health risks but also long-term complications to women’s physical, mental and sexual health and well-being. FGM also violates a person’s rights to health, security, and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.”
Remi Ajogbeje, a traditional birth attendant in Idanre is a mother of two girls is of the notion that FGM is good, very healthy, and can cause the body to react negatively if not done.
Ajogbeje noted that a woman’s sexual urge should be curbed except prompted by her husband.
According to her, “It is unacceptable for her to make the first sexual move. Without circumcision, they could become promiscuous, and eventually become prostitutes. FGM puts a woman’s sexual urges in place. If the [clitoris] is not cut, it can cause constant itching of the private part. It is because of HIV that the government stopped it but if the needed materials are bought by the parents there won’t be a need for any disease.” Remi added.
As a measure to prevent the high rate of FGM globally, UNICEF disclosed that the effort against it should be at least 10 times faster if the practice is to be eliminated by 2030.
While some organizations are also working tirelessly to wage war against the evil practice, however, a joint effort is needed so that it can be totally eradicated in every society.
Many dreams have been cut short because of this Practice. Some girls do not live up to narrate their bitter experiences while Some are dead as a result of the evil blades.