FGM in Sierra Leone – to ban or not to ban: A rejoinder

Fuambai Sia Ahmadu – Co-founder of All Women Are Free to Choose (AWAFC Inc.)

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 September 2016

Fuambai Sia Ahmadu Co-Founder of All Women Are Free to Choose (AWAFC Inc )

All Women are Free to Choose (AWAFC), which is an international advocacy movement on behalf of the majority of circumcised women who support the practice, including Bondo and Sande, is categorically opposed to any under 18 legal ban against what opponents call Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Fuambai Sia Ahmadu).

Further, we reject the official use of the terminology FGM in reference to what we call female circumcision.

Bondo is not FGM. The government of Sierra Leone’s over 18 policy on female circumcision must be respected.

According to the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, the current Government policy supports the self-regulation of Soweis and the existing MOU’s, which prohibit the circumcision of girls under the age of 18.

This policy is the best way forward for the majority of affected women and girls in Sierra Leone.

According to Lawyer Mariama Dumbuya, so-called FGM should be legally banned for girls under the age of 18 because:

1. The practice will end – adult women would not want to be subjected to so-called FGM. This is factually incorrect.  I was 21 years old at the time I joined Bondo.  I know many Sierra Leonean women who were 18 and over when they willingly joined Bondo.  In previous times, young women were well into late adolescence (16 and above) when they were considered to be “ready” to join Bondo.

The now infamous young woman Fatmata Turay did not die from circumcision; she was 19 years old and excited to finally join Bondo. Further, we are seeing that more and more adult women in countries like the UK and the US are choosing the very same female genital cosmetic operations that are performed in Bondo.

We firmly believe that Bondo and Sande will be strengthened with a true return to our traditions – including waiting until girls are young women and can give their willing consent to join.

2. So-called FGM reduces sexual desire. This is factually incorrect and there are plenty of studies to show this.  Also, those of us who were sexually active before and after joining Bondo can personally attest that this is a complete myth.  Islam may be concerned with the control of female sexuality (as with other Abrahamic religions such as Judaism and Christianity) but female circumcision predates Islam.

There are some Muslims who believe that Islam requires the circumcision of both boys and girls. There are some who say boys’ circumcision is required but circumcision of girls is only recommended. Yet still there are other Muslims who say female circumcision is not required or is banned under Islam.

Either way, close to half of the country’s women practitioners are Christians and many others do not adhere to either Islam or Christianity.  The majority of affected women in Sierra Leone uphold female circumcision because of women’s ancestral traditions – Bondo and Sande – not because of religion.

What is clear is that Sierra Leone is home to ethnic groups with the most sexually open and permissive cultures with respect to women. Let us own this truth.

3. A girl has a right to her clitoris – she may want it later in life.  The public needs to be educated that a girl’s clitoris cannot be removed; this is anti-FGM propaganda. The bulk of the clitoris is beneath the skin and invisible.

What is visible for most uncircumcised girls and women is the foreskin and external glans, which is a tiny fraction of the entire clitoris. Female circumcision as practiced by our Soweis involves excising this visible foreskin and glans tissue, which does not impair sexual sensation and capacity for orgasms.

Women can continue to enjoy sexual intercourse, oral sex, manual stimulation or any form of sexual play they desire or imagine. Let’s stop the ridiculous FGM propaganda that tells circumcised girls and women that they are sexually mutilated or damaged.

So, what happens if a girl wants to restore her excess foreskin and glans tissue later in life? The same question could be asked for boys.  Or are boys not entitled to their excess flesh and tissue?

There are very vocal and powerful anti-male circumcision or male mutilation activists who say the same thing anti-FGM activists are saying – that they were held down and mutilated in excruciating pain, their foreskins were removed to diminish their sexual desire and feeling, they never gave their consent to have their genitals chopped, etc. etc.

Yet, western feminists are not mobilizing the world to impose legal bans against neonatal or childhood male circumcision.

4. Male circumcision is okay because it promotes hygiene. Well, certainly that is what supporters say. Try telling the majority of European or other uncircumcised men throughout the world that their genitals are unclean or dirty or are a haven for bacteria.

Supporters of female circumcision say the same thing about hygiene. The clitoral foreskin, like the male foreskin, contains bacteria and smegma that requires daily cleaning.  Poor hygiene can lead to painful adhesions as well as itchiness and offensive odor.

The HPV virus can also be found in the external clitoral foreskin – for those men who enjoy oral sex, this can lead to deadly oral cancers. The treatment for painful adhesions in western countries is excision of the visible clitoral glans – the same operation our Soweis perform in Bondo and Sande as preventive measures.

5. Unclear benefits for women. Lawyer Dumbuya is unclear about the benefits of female circumcision for women. Well, since she has asked that we speak publicly about our personal views and preferences, and since I am already on record that I was uncircumcised until age 21 – I can say that I don’t see the greater benefit of excess, uneven and unflattering skin and tissue.

But, I’m not the only one that feels this way.  And Bondo/Sande women are not the only ones who feel this way. I would ask our eminent laywer and the general public to do some basic google searches on “female genital cosmetic surgeries.”

Peruse the before and after pictures…carefully.  Read what white, affluent, educated western women who are prepared to pay thousands of US dollars and British pound sterling are saying about the benefit of identical operations performed by our Soweis in Bondo and Sande.

My favorite quote, “I feel cleaner, sexier, more sculpted!” Look again at the before pictures of some of these women who have undergone “labiaplasty” or “clitoroplasty” or “clitoroplexy.”

I ask our learned lawyer and the general public to observe the gross disfigurement of most cases and read about the sexual dysfunction it causes uncircumcised women who go in for treatment.  These deformities and disfigurement are what our Soweis mean when they talk about “gboroka”.

So, if circumcised women are asked to undress and show the world our benefits, we also insist that uncircumcised women undress and show us their benefits.

6. Marking or cutting negatively impacts women when socializing with other nationalities. Putting aside the bizarre comparison with Nigerian facial scarification, Lawyer Dumbuya seems to suggest that circumcised women must change their practices to fit in with uncircumcised women. Really?

There was a time when we lived peacefully side by side (even if we whispered behind each other’s backs). Bondo and Sande was not the business of non-members and there was a mutual “live and let live.”

That is, until someone decided to invite anti-FGM campaigns into Sierra Leone. That is, until someone decided it was time to implement legislation to ban so-called FGM.

I recently stated in a social media forum that it is not Bondo that has mounted a national “gboroka” campaign to forcefully circumcise women who do not hold the same ideology, yet opponents have decided on a national FGM campaign to pressure Government to enact legislation that suits someone else’s “natural vagina” agenda?

All nationalities can get along by respecting each other’s rights to privacy, dignity and self-determination.

The fact is when we put aside anti-FGM propaganda from UN agencies and activist organizations like US based Equality Now, Forward UK or our locally based Amazonian Initiative, we can see clearly the lack of medical or health evidence in anti-FGM campaigns.

There is no evidence base for the notion that circumcised women are at greater risk than uncircumcised women, with respect to long-term obstetrical and gynecological health and there is no evidence that circumcised women are sexually impaired as compared with uncircumcised women.

Further, the majority of circumcised women are not “mutilated” in the same way that the majority of uncircumcised women are not “gborokas” or disfigured by adhesions or clitoral and labia hypertrophy.

So, unless uncircumcised women or anti-FGM advocates can bring us the medical evidence or scientific research with proper controls, I say we “live and let live.”

Dr Fuambai Sia AhmaduThe Way Forward:

1. First and foremost, Government needs to get rid of the official use of the term FGM. If there is no official use of the term “gboroka” or other derogatory terminology that is used by lay people to describe uncircumcised women, Government should not use language that offends the majority of women in this country.

2. We must recognise the different types of female circumcision and base our national policies accordingly. (Photo: Sia Ahmadu).

WHO Type I (removal of foreskin only) is anatomically equivalent to male circumcision and, like male circumcision, should not require consent. The Sierra Leone Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender, so we insist on gender parity with respect to parallel types of genital surgeries on children as well as with regards to parental autonomy.

WHO Type II involves removal of foreskin or exposed glans as well as trimming of inner labia, procedures that are aesthetically and anatomically equivalent to common forms of female genital cosmetic surgeries. I agree with our good lawyer here that, like all cosmetic surgeries, this should require consent.

3. The most common type of female circumcision practiced in Bondo is Type II and in some cases Type I. Sierra Leone does not practice the most extreme form of stitching the vagina or Type III so this is not relevant in our local context. As mentioned above, the Soweis have already agreed to self-regulate and limit the practice to girls 18 and above. This is a huge step forward.

4. Government should continue bolstering the efforts of the current Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs in her collaboration with the Sowei Council and grassroots women all over the country.

Honorable Dr. Sylvia Blyden has made the position of Government clear, that it has signed MOU’s with Soweis to end the circumcision of girls under 18. Honorable Dr. Blyden is building on the work of the former Gender Advisor, Naasu Fofanah, who was instrumental in coordinating the Sowei Council.

These women need the full support of Government and the people of Sierra Leone to begin to fully advance the spirit and terms of the MOUs nationwide and to standardize procedures and protocols among Soweis.

Further, Government needs to support literacy expansion, further education and clinical training of Soweis to ensure that all consenting adult women have access to the highest standard of healthcare in the country.

5. The Sowei Council and other pro-Bondo and Sande women need support in bringing the “tradition” and cultural “training” back to female circumcision. Just as our good lawyer observed, there is so much learning, vibrancy, and rich cultural knowledge behind the great masquerades and within the seclusion bush.

For those anti-FGM activists who want to see an end to female circumcision as an entry requirement for Bondo, there is nothing stopping them from organizing their own initiation-without-cutting ceremonies.

They should focus their energies and substantial foreign aid resources on convincing the next generation of girls that, being uncircumcised is a better deal for them and that Bondo training can be achieved without the operation.

Female circumcision6. Criminalizing female circumcision would continue the unjustified stigmatization of affected girls and women. Criminalization would justify the relentless public disparagement, harassment and persecution of our sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers and so on for a practice that is becoming popularized in the very western countries seeking to ban it in ours.

Criminalizing female circumcision for under 18 girls with no parallel ban on under 18 male circumcision would send the wrong message that our daughters are not equal to our sons, that there is something inherently bad or wrong with a practice that is performed for the same reasons as male circumcision in Sierra Leone.

Instead of the traditional equality and gender balance that sustains Bondo and Poro, an under 18 legal ban on female circumcision only would be discriminatory.

7. Finally, just as Poro is not under Government regulation and authority, Bondo is not subject to policing by the State. Criminalizing female circumcision to enforce an 18 and over code of honor, would set a very dangerous precedent and invite civil upheaval at a time when Sierra Leone needs to focus on our internal stability.

Leave our Soweis alone – they will self-regulate as they have for hundreds if not thousands of years.  And besides, we have a resilient vanguard of smart, savvy, well-heeled, cosmopolitan and empowered Bondo women to guide them along the 21st Century.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate visit us at www.awafc.org or www.fuambaisiaahmadu.com

Author: Fuambai Sia Ahmadu is the co-founder of ‘All Women Are Free to Choose (AWAFC Inc.)’.

13 Comments

  1. Ok. Cut and uncut. Male or female. Can your spouse, not your parents, suggest you going through the procedure of being cut or uncuT?

    Its so absurd talking about the mutilation of genitals for purposes unknown. Can cutting solve the problems of education, poverty, rape, discrimination, corruption, inequality, graft, Ebola, Zika, teenage pregnancies, ISIS, sexual exploitation. Help me with this list.

  2. As a matter of indisputable fact and drawback on Bondo, there are more fine and healthy looking uncircumcised women, globally, than those female genitally cut and mutilated with very many unfortunate deaths. Those proponents of Bondo genital mutilations are doing so out of jealousy, wickedness and lack of any sense of good reasoning on this evil practice.

    When I read an article, “Ebola Has Not Put an End to Female Circumcision in Sierra Leone,” written by Ms Fuambai Sia Ahmadu and published on ThisIsSierraLeone Online News Portal that:

    3. Female Circumcision in SL is NOT about VIRGINITY. According to her twisted, messed up and corrupted conscience as, maybe, the only African-American woman to have wasted precious time and enough amount of energy to write a whole tasteless and despicable first dissertation on Bondo at her school.

    She believes that the idea of female circumcision performed on girls in Sierra Leone to maintain their virginity and fidelity in marriage is ‘completely false and contrary to the actual meanings of this practice’ and its parallelity with male circumcision. Wow! What a shame on Fuambai Ahmadu!

    See the attached article “Fuambai Sia Ahmadu | Sierra Leone News, This is Sierra Leone,All ..”

  3. Brett,

    I have looked at the article referenced by Ken McGrath, Senior Lecturer in Pathology at the Faculty of Health, Auckland University of Technology and Member of the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Scientists, which is “The prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision” by J.R. Taylor, A.P. Lockwood and A.J. Taylor Department of Pathology, Health Sciences Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. All I could say to you is that, Ken McGrath is an evolutionist who has completely rejected the TRUTH of the Holy Scriptures of God’s infallible word.

    Now that such Scientists have abandoned faith in the Holy Scriptures and have turned to the false philosophy of materialism, God will hold them accountable for their actions on the day of judgment. For the word of God says that:

    “This is my ‘covenant’ with you and your descendants after you, ‘the covenant’ you are to keep: Every male among you shall be CIRCUMCISED.” Genesis 17:10 (NIV).

    But, Apostle Paul had this to say to all born again Bible believers:

    1. “Circumcision is NOTHING and uncircumcision is NOTHING. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.” 1 Corinthians 7:19,20 (NIV).

    2. “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, ‘circumcised or uncircumcised,’ barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Colossians 3:11 (NIV). Amen.

  4. In addition to what I wrote hours ago on FGM, male genital circumcision involves the cutting of ONLY his foreskin, which is NOT a whole organ like the clitoris, that covers the glans penis and urinary meatus. This cutting of the male foreskin has a biblical foundation and background in Genesis 17: The Covenant of “Male Genital” Circumcision. Except in cases of an accident and foul play, this cutting does NOT lead to death at all. The very worst is, it makes the man to become a Eunuch- a man who has been castrated.

    Therefore, comparing male genital circumcision to FGM is NOT only faulty but terribly bad and misleading. Please denounce Bondo traditional practices and be blessed abundantly with LIFE. Amen.

    • This anatomist would disagree. He proposes that the male foreskin is an organ in its own right, because it provides at least two major functions: mechanical, a roller bearing gliding tube; sensory, highly specialized nerve endings.

      The human male foreskin is utterly unique, in that, these highly specialized sensory nerve endings concentrate in the foreskin, not in the glans as in the human female; and even the closest evolutionary male relative primates have the reverse arrangement.

      Anatomy of the Penis: Penile and Foreskin Neurology https://youtu.be/DD2yW7AaZFw

  5. When I was growing up as a young lad in Bonthe District, something very vicious and mean-spirited happened that I would hardly forget. For an adult woman, likely in her 40s, followed uncircumcised girls while singing some songs with the crowd of women and mistakenly entered into the Bondo so-called sacred bush.

    The door to the bush was then shut down, and the satanic Sowei Mammy, to her surprise, came to find out that she has a new visitor- uncircumcised adult woman. And I heard a hollering shout of:

    “Ayeh Joee.”

    The Bondo women then went crazily singing and dancing all over the town. That woman was forcefully initiated into the Bondo society, and had her clitoris chopped off for no good reason. Except that she illegally entered their sacred bush.

    Consequently, Bondo society is a typical traditional and cultural practice found ONLY in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nowhere else! It is a black and raffia masquerade on a woman’s head as Devil. Why? Because the Devil aka Satan is interested in sucking blood terribly oozing from the clitoris of a woman. And on the body of a Poro man with cicatrization marks either around his back, chest, shoulders or forehead.

    When Fuambai Sia Ahmadu, who is a proponent of Bondo, says that:

    “Further, Government needs to support literacy expansion, further education and clinical training of Soweis to ensure that all consenting adult women have access to the highest standard of healthcare in the country.”

    I find this statement politically incomprehensible, shameful and very ridiculous. She needs to know that Bondo is nosediving, and will soon crash or come to an end in Sierra Leone.

    Below is a recent excerpt of a fatal incident that happened between an Egyptian Medical Doctor and 17-year old Mayar Mohamed Mousa on FGM:

    “Egypt has one of the highest number of women and girls affected by FGM in the world. Over 27.2 million have undergone the procedure in this North African country. Most of the FGM performed there is carried out by ‘health personnel.’ Mayar Mohamed Mousa was 17 when she died in May 2016 after undergoing FGM in the Egyptian province of Suez. The medical professional who carried out the procedure in the private El Canal ‘clinic’ has since escaped to Turkey, where she is currently in ‘hiding.’ A trial of Mayar’s mother as well as the health personnel involved in the case is due to take place in September.”

    See “http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/08/24/will-the-death-of-these-5-girls-from-fgm-spark-a-global-wake-up-call/.”

    And when Ms Sylvia Blyden also made the following politically corrupted statements on Late Ms Turay’s autopsy report, I saw tears welling in my eyes and I could not hold back but shed them:

    “…the 19-year old Fatmata Mustapha Turay, primarily died of bilateral lobar pneumonia (her two lungs were badly affected) and she also had extensive other pathologies and conditions ‘throughout her internal organs in her chest cavity’, her abdominal cavity and her pelvic cavity.”

    By looking at this report alone, one could clearly see the amount of force violently unleashed against the poor young lady’s whole internal organs with profuse bleeding from her chopped off clitoris.

    That said, the best and ONLY way out of these life threatening and illegal deaths in Sierra Leone is to permanently BAN Bondo female genital initiations nationwide. For NO ONE has ever died because she has a clitoris, but ONLY due to excising and tampering with it.

    Furthermore, there is essentially a big difference between Bondo and Labia reduction aka Labioplasty. For the former is forcefully done on a girl and woman by an illiterate and ungodly Sowei at any age for no medical reasons; whereas the latter is ‘a surgical operation’ relatively contraindicated for the woman who has active gynecological disease and that creates, for example, labia where once there were none.

    Please wake up from your slumber and come alive on these satanic secret societies largely festering academia, economic development, religion, etc. and everything else in the country. Amen.

  6. Observer,

    Thanks for the correction anyway. FYI, what I left out was “have” to correctly say:

    “If Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Kassangha II of Bombali Sebora Chiefdom, Northern Sierra Leone could ‘have’ temporarily banned the activities of secret societies in Makeni and the entire Bombali district, including Bondo, Poro, Gbangbani, Ojeh, Hunting, etc. societies, as a result of the deadly Ebola outbreak why NOT eliminate these ungodly practices once and for all in the country?”

    I am a Sierra Leonean, who is currently living in America. By residing in the country does NOT make me an American. Everyone of us is a citizen of only ONE country and NOT two to become a lying “DUAL” national. NO WAY!

    Let me give you a quick example of the ‘citizenship’ of Senator Ted Cruz of USA:

    “First, according to the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946, also referred to as the ‘Act of 1947,’ Canada did not allow ‘dual’ citizenship in 1970. The parents would have had to choose at that time between U.S. and Canadian citizenship. Ted Cruz did NOT renounce his Canadian citizenship until 2014.”

    I’m a Man of God, who respects anyone’s opinion to say and do whatever he or she likes. Amen.

  7. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu,

    Let me quickly debunk some of the unfortunate statements you just made on satanic FGM practices in Sierra Leone as follows:

    1. Without mincing words and wasting much decent time, I hereby say to you that Bondo is FGM. Because Bondo is synonymous with Sande, you are wrong in saying Bondo AND Sande. But, Bondo OR Sande is correct.

    2. You are NOT a Sierra Leonean anymore, but naturalized American. Why are you socially and politically interfering into the affairs of my country, Sierra Leone? I ask that you stop this shabbiness and deceptions of yours in my homeland. Enough is Enough of your illegality in the country.

    3. When you say that “All Women Are Free to Choose (AWAFC Inc.).”

    What do you really mean? What are women free to choose? Devilish Bondo secret society? Or something else? Please be brief and make yourself succinctly clear.

    4. As a trained and qualified science school teacher here in the United States of America, where you too reside, you are totally wrong in making the following pervasive statements:

    “What is visible for most uncircumcised girls and women is the ‘foreskin’ and external glans, which is a ‘tiny’ fraction of the entire clitoris. Female circumcision as practiced by our Soweis involves excising this visible ‘foreskin’ and glans tissue, which does not impair sexual sensation and capacity for orgasms… The clitoral ‘foreskin,’ like the male foreskin, contains bacteria and smegma that requires daily cleaning. Poor hygiene can lead to painful adhesions as well as itchiness and offensive odor.”

    For your information, women don’t have a ‘foreskin,’ but men do have it and retracts as a roll of skin covering the end of the penis; in very rare cases, only the prepuce, which is a ‘technical term for foreskin,’ the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris.

    Furthermore, both sexes can produce smegma. In males, smegma is produced and can collect under the ‘foreskin;’ it helps keep the glans moist and facilitates sexual intercourse by acting as a lubricant; in females, it collects around the clitoris and in the folds of the labia minora.

    The smegma is a sebaceous secretion in the folds of the skin, especially under ‘a man’s foreskin.

    See “Smegma – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.”

    In addition, the clitoris is more than a tissue. It’s the female sexual “organ.”

    The tissue provides protection from friction to the underlying layers of the vagina. Watery secretions produced by the vaginal epithelium lubricate the vagina and have an acidic pH ‘to prevent the growth of bacteria and yeast.’ The acidic pH also makes the vagina an inhospitable environment for sperm, which has resulted in males producing alkaline seminal fluid to neutralize the acid and improve the survival of sperm.

    See “http://www.innerbody.com/image_repfov/repo12-new.html.”

    5. In your so-called ‘Dissertation’ namely “Rites and Wrongs: An Insider/Outsider Reflects on Power and Excision,” you admitted that your younger sister at age 8 was medically anesthetized before excising her clitoris, like yours.

    Was this practice of female genital cutting (fgc) good then and bad today on under age children in Sierra Leone? Why? What happened to this shifting position of acceptance and rejection of fgc? Was it due to the Mozambique Maputo Protocol being enacted against fgc on under 18 would have been initiates?

    Please let me know, and be honest with me.

    6. If Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Kassangha II of Bombali Sebora Chiefdom, Northern Sierra Leone could temporarily banned the activities of secret societies in Makeni and the entire Bombali district, including Bondo, Poro, Gbangbani, Ojeh, Hunting, etc. societies, as a result of the deadly Ebola outbreak why NOT eliminate these ungodly practices once and for all in the country?

    See the following reports:

    i. “Sierra Leone News: Secret Society banned in Makeni” by Jonathan Abass Kamara on Tuesday August 19, 2014.”

    ii. http://news.sl/drwebsite/publish/article_200529050.shtml

    7. For the sake of a religious argument, specifically on The Covenant of Male Genital Circumcision, know that these two faithful women of God were NEVER female genitally mutilated:

    “Mama Sarah, who was the wife of father Abraham; and Mary, who was the mother of my Lord Jesus Christ.”

    That said, you can do whatever with your female genitalia. But, in the end you will face your creator on judgment day and give an account to Him of what you did to His Temple, which is your body. Amen.

    • “You are NOT a Sierra Leonean anymore, but naturalized American. Why are you socially and politically interfering into the affairs of my country, Sierra Leone?”

      Mus, (I can call you Mus can’t I?) who are you to determine who is Sierra Leonean and who is not?

      You said that you are a school teacher in USA and you must be an american as well.
      So you belong to 2 countries but you want to deprive others of their own right to be part of Sierra Leone and the USA.

      My friend, please behave yourself and respect others.

      Secondly, you said “If Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Kassangha II of Bombali Sebora Chiefdom, Northern Sierra Leone could temporarily banned the activities of secret societies in Makeni ………………..”

      Correct English is ‘ban’ and not ‘banned’

  8. Whether one originates from Sierra Leone, United Kingdom or United States of America, we must understand that all of us belong to the human race and must must always adjudicate for human respect and human peace at all times. But have the countries who refer to themselves as first world states considered this thinking in their slightest imagination in dealing with countries especially in Africa?

    Have they come to terms with respecting the culture and way of life of the people who live in these countries?

    Have they actually taken their time to study very carefully the benefits of what they refer to as “Female Genital Mutilation” to the communities where this is practiced?

    The international advocacy will be focused on banning “gay and lesbianism” practices on the planet earth, rather than parliament of some countries legalising the practices that have already been banned by the Almighty God who owns life.

    These are some of the terms which the Western countries need to come to terms with and understand properly, rather than wasting time trying to ban what is part of the culture and traditions of Africa.

    Until Africans are well respected by countries of the West, we are not prepared to ban female circumcisions, especially at adulthood and by choice of those women who agree and prefer to go through with the ceremony.

    Mohamed Sannoh
    Educational Services Consultant, UK

  9. Cutting male and female genitals are similar:
    1) They are unnecessary, extremely painful, and traumatic.
    2) They can have adverse sexual and psychological effects. 3) They are generally done by force on children. 4) They are generally supported by local medical doctors.
    5) Pertinent biological facts are not generally known where procedures are practiced. 6) They are defended with reasons such as tradition, religion, aesthetics, cleanliness, and health. These reasons are used to mask underlying reasons.
    7) The rationale has currently or historically been connected to controlling sexual pleasure. 8) They are often believed to have no effect on normal sexual functioning. 9) They are generally accepted and supported by those who have been subjected to them.
    10) Those who are cut have a compulsion to repeat their trauma on their children, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. 11) The choice may be motivated by underlying psychosexual reasons. 12) Critical public discussion is generally taboo where the procedures are practiced. 13) They can result in serious complications that can lead to death.
    14) The adverse effects are hidden by repression and denial. 15) Dozens of potentially harmful physiological, emotional, behavioral, sexual, and social effects on individuals and societies have never been studied. 16) On a qualitative level, cutting the genitals of male and female children are the same. The harm starts with the first cut, any cut.
    17) The decision is generally controlled by men though women may be supportive. 18) They violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 19) They often exist together. 20) To stop one, we must stop both. Then we may better develop toward our individual and social potential. May courage overcome conformity.

    • Ronald, I totally disagree with your statement on female circumcision.

      Contrary to the ill motivated belief, or claim that the practice reduces or decreases sexual desire in women, circumcised women are probably far more sexually driven and enduring than uncircumcised women. It’s like telling me that uncircumcised men are more sexually driven than circumcised men – nonsense.

      The entire campaign is mere European project of cultural dissolution- change their way of thinking and the rest will fall in. The concept is to force abdication of cultural and traditional practices that promote and sustain other societies social cohesion other than the Europeans.

      You see why billions are being wasted in promoting it while millions especially children continue to die of starvation and other curable diseases around the world without end. Has the UN tried to promote a study to report on the number of circumcision related fatalities amongst ‘children’ and adult initiates annually or otherwise?

      Thousands are dying or being killed every passing day in armed conflicts around the globe yet, to this moment the superpowers have refused to ban the proliferation of light fire arms. What about the land mines that has maimed and continues to destroy lives in especially Africa’s regional armed conflicts succoured by the free flow of advanced weaponry made from far outside the conflict zones. Why are crucial matters so unimportant to the UN-cultural reorientation of all else but Europe.

      Until recently, the Bondo society was a purely adult affair- at most, sixteen years and beyond. All I can see from this unbridled argument is money and ignorance.

      It’s high time the world population compel the UN and its clunky fisted superpowers, to confront the compelling and the un-ignoring human catastrophes strewn all over our world. Female circumcision has got nothing to do with Human development index or the unending subjection of millions into poverty and diseases.

      You look at Aleppo, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, etc. etc., and tell me what’s truly wrong with the uselessness of this highly touted female circumcision by this puerile if not much of Dr Goldman’s tawdry list of disconnects about a culture that has sustained its people for centuries. Is there really any human undertaking without its pros and cons?

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