30 November 2017

A business for all at the expense of young girls' health

Guest blog by Mama Sylla, President of Charity GUINEAN FRATERNITY 

Why Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has become a practice that brings money back to midwives or circumcisers in short, a business for the entire community.

The week of preparation to excise a girl.

For the 16 days of activism, I deem it necessary to describe this blog to be able to explain the reasons and the causes which push the parents to maim their daughters and at what price? The whole ceremony can be done during a month during the school holidays between July and September.

In the Republic of Guinea, whose capital is Conakry, excision ceremonies take place differently according to ethnicity.

Long before you undergo excision, parents prepare you by buying new clothes, jewelry and shoes.

The practice of excision differs according to ethnicity and customs. Being from a Fulani mother and a father Soussou, I was excised in Peul milieu according to their tradition which is different from that practice in Soussou environment.

I specify that each of the 26 ethnic groups that my country Guinea counts on each one's way of practicing genital mutilation.

In general, it is several parents who decide to excise their daughters (minimum 15 to 20 girls) in time to reduce the financial burden.

For my case we were only two, so consider the privileged and lucky but at what price?

My parents had paid quite a fortune for this ritual, but, as soon as the traditional practitioner had finished cutting me, she quickly took the money to continue looking for other victims, while I paid the price and bled non-stop for 3 days without being seen by a doctor or admitted to hospital, as this bodily reaction was normal for them. The woman who cut me was highly regarded and respected by all parents in town. She was looking for victims (clients) all day long, having never studied and therefore not knowing the risks involved in this criminal practice.

Cut girls will be left to face the problems associated with their sexuality, maternity and, in short, their domesticity for the rest of their lives.

As a result, this criminal practice has become very lucrative in our African communities, even though the law prohibits it in theory. If the law is not applied with all its rigour, this practice will never come to an end because it simply generates money for the female cutters and certain intermediaries.

In conclusion, it's a business between traditional practitioners, medical staff and opinion leaders.

As for the medical staff, they take advantage of the opportunity to charge parents for very expensive prescriptions and consultation fees.

For religious (Muslim) this practice is allowed so their silence is guilty to the extent that at each celebration they receive gifts from the excisors and their intermediaries to buy their silence while these young women will remain traumatized for the rest of their life.

As a victim of FGM, I will fight this practice in all its forms here in England and elsewhere.

Mama Sylla


Resident In Great Britain.