By Nancy

Joining to activate 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, which runs from November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day. The campaign aims to show that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights.

From the time we are born, we have no control over our bodies, we are bathed, clothed and fed by another. Then when we grow older, we think the cycle will stop but it doesn’t. Society and culture play a great role in the upbringing of kids, especially in the life of the girl child.

The female is forced to abide by stiff societal rules, rules which do not apply to the male. Society has found a way to suppress the woman into being inferior to the male. Female inferiority starts from the society she is born to, to her work space and continues in her marital home. This suppression has gone on for so long that it has become a societal norm.

The question is; ‘ why should culture have so much of an impact on the female’?. In society today, sagging is considered fashion but a crop top is considered inappropriate and uncultured. Some societies give as much rights to the female as  the male, but this write up is about the societies who force women to cover themselves otherwise they are punished, under looked and deemed indecent. This write up is about the girls who are forced to go through the painful practice of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) as well as Gender Based Violence(GBV).

FGM is more than physical torture, it is bigger than discrimination; it is forcing females to abide to rules that don’t apply to male. It is punishing the female for wanting to flaunt their God given hair, it is subduing the woman to excruciating pain without her consent under the canopy of religion.

FGM has been a common pratice for atleast 2000 years in some parts of Africa, Asia and The Middle East. The practice is said to be tied to the cultural ideals of modesty with claims of a religious backing, the origins however faded with time. FGM is described as the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical purposes. This practice can lead to severe bleeding in victims, complications in the urinary tract, difficulties in childbirth as well as an increased possibility in miscarriages and child death. Add emotional trauma to this equation and you have a shattered little girl who has to bear the brunt of this pain for the rest of her life.

So why do women have to endure all this pain to keep them modest when research has proven that the male species is the more promiscuous gender?. Even with intervention from the UN, multiple NGOs and other government bodies to fight against this vile practice, hundreds of girls continue to undergo this torture on a daily, forced to endure this torture by the ones who are meant to protect them.

Who then should a young girl turn to when the ones she trusts subject her to so much pain simply because they went through the same thing. How do we stop a practice as old as time when the culture is deeply rooted in the hearts of the community?. We take one step at a time, visit one community at a time, save one girl at a time.

We joined our voices to raise awareness on the ills and harm of FGM and partnered with UNFPA to release an amazing edition of FabAfriq magazine which you can read for free from this link

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