Campaigning against female genital mutilation
Article in images

Lifelong complications

 

 - Lifelong complications
The pharaonic variant of FGM involves yet another aspect: closing the vagina completely – total control of female sexuality. Aisha remembers the most horrific day of her life as if it was yesterday. Her aunts came to help her mother, as she recalls.

"They sat on my arms and legs, while the old woman cut everything away," says  Aisha. There was no anaesthetic. "Then they tied my legs together and I had to lie like that for four or six weeks." During this period, the wound, which is stitched up or closed with the aid of acacia thorns, is meant to heal. An inserted twig or straw ensures that a tiny opening remains.

The list of the consequences, which usually remain for life, is long: peeing can take half an hour, a period can last two weeks, and women are often prone to chronic infections of the bladder or fallopian tubes. This, in turn, frequently causes infertility. In the case of pregnancy, a normal birth is often not possible, but there is rarely a doctor around who could perform a caesarean. In all cases, infant mortality is clearly elevated, by around 55 percent.

With the pharaonic mutilation, there is yet another cruel aspect: on a woman’s wedding night, she is often cut open if the opening is too small for intercourse. This is sometimes done by the mutilation practitioners, but more frequently by the husbands, who use knives and scissors, often damaging the bowel or bladder in the process.

Aisha will only say that her wedding night was terrible, without going into details. She has since had a son and a daughter, both of whom were born in Germany by caesarean. She says that she is lucky that her husband is considerate. "But I only know that being with a man is supposed to be beautiful for a woman from books and from talking to my German girlfriends. For me, it has remained torturous."




  
  

Women in Focus Editor
14/04/2010
Rank this page: 

Don't miss...
This Week's Hollyoaks SpoilersHot celebrity men in uniform
Celebrity Men with GlassesMet Gala 2017: The Best Dressed
Latest… 26/05/2017
Women in Focus News
Guides
Vegan Bloggers Are Teaching Women How To Stop Their Periods Through Dieting
This Artist Creates The Best Middle Finger Up Response To The Thigh Gap
Woman Shows The Reality Of Losing Nine Stone In Brave After Photos
This Woman Got Rejected From A Job Interview In The Most Brutal Way Possible
All Women in Focus news
Changing your name | How to change your name
Work for yourself - get your small business online
How to deal with redundancy
Registering and voting: everything you need to know
See all Women in Focus guides
 

Don't miss out!

...Join our newsletter
Get the sofeminine latest straight to your inbox
  OK
Find us on...