MORE THAN 1 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY DUE TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
This Thursday marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, a day instituted by the United Nations to alert and raise public awareness about a phenomenon that is estimated to have affected 200 million girls and women worldwide.
This year the anniversary did not go unnoticed. The Civil Society Forum for the Rights of the Child (ROSC) and its CPLP partners organized a virtual debate to reflect on the social problem that continues to prevent girls and women from enjoying their sexual and reproductive rights freely.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), according to Unicef, this year alone, more than 4 million girls are at risk of being subjected to this practice in various forms at the international level, with a special focus on 27 countries, some of which in the African continent.
In an interview with RFI, Teresinha da Silva, coordinator in Mozambique of WLSA, Network for the Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Women and Law in Southern Africa, gives an account of the situation in her country and evokes vaginal stretching, a practice present in the north of Mozambique.
In recalling the consequences of FGM both in terms of the physical and mental health of women and girls, namely infections, bleeding, pain when urinating or during menstruation and sexual intercourse, as well as psychological trauma, the World Health Organization also stresses that mutilation The female genital is recognized internationally as a violation of Human Rights. Its eradication, in fact, was inserted in 2015 in the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is believed that the girl or woman who does not follow this tradition completely reduces the possibility of marrying the indigenous people of her community, suffering discrimination. The future and rights within the community are lost and culture is seriously disrespected. Analogously, these realities lead us to travel in time and space to China, where the culture of mutilating the feet, known as “bandaging”, was raised to a standard of beauty. It was believed that aesthetics prayed that the woman had very small feet as an ideal of perfection. Thus, normal feet represented the synonym of immoral and restricted the possibility of getting married. For that, it was necessary to deform the feet until they reached the “venerated form”. Bandaging caused dark infections, rotting of the skin and even deaths, in a way similar to what happens with FGM.
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