Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), comes with consequences that include severe pain and bleeding, shock, difficulty in passing urine, infections, injury to nearby genital tissue and sometimes death, due to excessive bleeding or deadly infections.
Unfortunately, many people still think ending FGM should not be so. During our outreach at Old Waso market in Ogbomoso, one of our first encounters was a woman who insisted that FGM deters a girl child from being promiscuous, and stopping it will increase waywardness.
In what we can call a happy development for us and a potential victim of FGM, Mrs Funmi Alawi, in the same market, made up her mind not to mutilate her 10-year-old girl child, whom she had been contemplating to cut in coming days. For her, it was a case of ignorance, and our campaign came at the right time.
The consequence of death looms when the so-called mutilation experts cut the child in a wrong way. There are four types of Female Genital Mutilation, as outlined below:
Type 1: Also called, clitoridectomy. It consists of partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or its exterior
Type II: Known as excision, the clitoris and labia minora (a small fold in the female genitalia) are partially or totally removed, with or without excision of the labia majora.
Type III: It involves narrowing the vaginal orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and repositioning the labia with or without removal of the clitoris. Type III FGM is also called infibulation.
Type IV: Other procedures that include such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.
Each of them causes severe pains and are capable of grievous consequences. At the outreach, we also dissuaded a woman who was about to carry out FGM on her daughter. Her reason was that the child complains of itching at her private part at night before sleeping. She got the advice from friends that she should be circumcised. We explained the need to do more with hygiene as the solution to that, instead of mutilation.
Fortunately, we were able to reach almost 600 people at the market on the need to stop FGM.