By: Elena F.
We all deserve equal human rights. However many girls around the world are not able to exercise those rights. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a devastating violation of human rights, and we need to stand beside these girls who suffer from its consequences and join the growing international movement demanding that it be stopped.
In some ways, FGM can be seen as torture, like foot-binding in China. Girls suffer greatly from this dangerous traditional, and even die of complications from the procedure.
How can we help girls get out of this cycle? One of the most important things is to EDUCATE girls, boys, women and men about the harm FGM can cause. Educational campaigns and programs should be intensified in all communities where FGM happens.
Since FGM occurs in many different cultures and religions, blaming a single religion or culture is counterproductive and not worthwhile. Organizations like Tostan in Senegal created by and for a community, work to change the attitudes as well as laws. Many of these grassroots organizations try to find new jobs for the women who perform the cutting in a community, so that these women are no longer dependent on FGM for their livelihood.
It is not right to think another culture does wrong because your culture does something differently, but it is not right to keep silent when girls bleed to death. As girls and women who can easily exercise our rights and freedom, we need to stand up for these girls who don’t have the same rights and freedoms as we do! As UNICEF declared:
“FGM is discriminatory and violates the right to equal opportunities, and health; freedom from violence, injury, abuse, torture and cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment; protection from harmful traditional practices; and to make decisions concerning reproduction.” - UNICEF “Female GenitalMutilation/Cutting” (September 23, 2010)