5 February 2018

“A recovery from female genital mutilation is a long journey”

Guest Blog by Kadi Doumbia. 

My name is Kadi. I was born and raised in the city of Bamako, Mali, in west Africa. I went through female genital mutilation when I was a child, I must have been less than 5 years old when I was cut. I have no recollections of the actual cutting, and I do not remember what happened before or during the cutting either. God only knows what happened because I do not even remember the physical pain that I must have gone through while I was being cut; I am thinking that I must have fainted all the way through. Though, I do remember vividly some of the event that took place around it, such as the healing process. I do also remember my mother caring for me and being in charge of my personal hygiene.

I have been trying to find out about a reason why girls have to undergo female genital mutilation, but unfortunately, I have not yet found any valid reasons to why we, girls must undergo this practice; perhaps there is no reason at all other than myths and ignorance.

Female genital mutilation had controlled me in many ways, it has controlled my sex life, I am affected emotionally because I miss my clitoris and I know that it is gone for good. Furthermore, I do not understand why anyone would want to harm a child. Some people think that when a child is cut in early age, she will not remember or feel the pain of cutting. Don’t they know that the child will grow up to find that her clitoris is missing?

Female genital mutilation has affected me tremendously, so much that I sometimes have flashbacks. The last time I had a nightmare about female circumcision was a few months ago. I wake up from my sleep in a pool of sweat with my heart pounding. I had had a nightmare that they cut one of my children. This nightmare felt so real when my eyes opened that I called my children to make sure they were fine. I explained to them that I had a nightmare about them being circumcised. They assured me that they were fine. Oh, I cannot forget to mention that I am a mother of two beautiful young women. I am so thankful that I was able to sacrifice my life for them, so they did not have to go what I went through.

A recovery from female genital mutilation is a long journey. Some of the ways that I have been able to cooperate with it is to make sure that it does not happened to the next girl. Furthermore, whenever I get the opportunity to travel back to my country, I host a community education about FGM and I make sure that I get men involved. I believe that we all must understand that FGM is everybody’s problem and should concern every single human being.

If I had an organization for humanity, I would have named it 14, to honor me and all of my siblings. Why? Because in my family, we are 14 girls and we all went through FGM. How Sad!!!!