Today is International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation (FGM), which has no health benefits – only harms. More than 125 million young girls and women have suffered after being unnecessarily subjected to this life-threatening form of abuse – and it’s been tolerated for far too long.
As a doctor, I’ve seen girls and women from around the world who have been subjected to this cruel procedure against their will. Girls and women can suffer severe pain, bleeding, infection, sepsis, and shock during and immediately after the procedure, and they may face a lifetime of complications including recurrent urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, infertility, complications with childbirth, and psychological effects.
Check out this must-read story where Kenya’s Miriam Jerotich tells how her mother’s brave rejection of FGM provided the freedom for her daughter to define her own identity:
Concluding that not being cut would grant her access to education and bring her closer to owning a car, she decided that she would not undergo FGM, even though she would be forever seen as a child in the community. It didn’t faze her. Education was more important.
To read the rest of Miriam Jerotich’s piece in The Guardian, please follow this link.