My heart is bleeding for Maasai girls

Posted June 13, 2014 no picture diana kagwiria

no picture diana kagwiria View Profile
Member since May 30, 2014
  • 8 Posts

My heart is bleeding for Maasai girls

Yesterday marked the first day of the 2014 World Cup and at around 2100hrs EAT the majority of the people around the world were glued to their electronic devices following the opening ceremony. Being an ardent lover of news bulletins I flipped the channels to catch up with the latest happenings around the world during the prime time news. The top story of the day happened to be on the country’s budget, but it didn’t catch my attention as the female genital mutilation story did. Maasai women have threatened to strip naked if the Kenyan government doesn’t lift the ban on female genital mutilation.

The reason they gave, is that it is part of their culture and they need to allowed to practice their culture. To me, culture is the way of life of the people and no culture is superior than the other but when cultural practices cause harm than good to the community members that becomes a barbaric cultural practice and it needs to be stopped.

The type of circumcision that the Maasai perform is called clitoridectomy, in which the entire clitoris or part of the clitoris, and at times the adjacent labia, is removed. The primary reason female circumcision is practiced among the Maasai is that it is considered a rite of passage. It elevates a girl from childhood to the status of adulthood, and is necessary for a girl to be considered a complete woman. Another important belief among the Maasai is that the rite has an ability to reduce the woman's desire for sex, making her less likely to engage in pre-marital sex or adultery.

Being a woman who understands the effects of FGM, I feel obliged to reason that rather than stripping naked for government to lift up the ban, the Maasai women should be at the forefront smoking out those that are practicing the cut that does harm to their daughters because they understand it better than anyone else. In the past we have heard stories of how innocent girls have lost their lives and others have lived to tell horror stories of the negative effects the cut has brought to their lives. Excessive bleeding can occur during the practice and can lead to death. Female circumcision is mostly performed using shared and unsterilized objects, which can lead to HIV/AIDS and tetanus, and damage organs including the vaginal walls. Inflammation of the cells around the circumcision area also occurs shortly after the operation. The long-term effects of FGM include chronic infections of the reproductive parts, pain during sexual intercourse, and difficulties in childbirth.

The female circumcision practice is unfair to the girl child because it exposes her to serious health complications. It is also mostly done against her wishes and becomes a violation of her rights. Once a girl undergoes circumcision, she can start a family. This belief has contributed greatly to the practice of early marriage hence living innocent girls with a lifetime of hauling water , firewood and bearing children.

Numerous campaigns have been done in the past against the practice which has seen the reduction on the number of FGM cases, hence a high increase on the enrollment of girls in school and in the community. In such campaigns the women are supposed to be the main advocates, but with such threats from the same people whom the young Maasai girls look up to in life, I am left to conclude that we are making ten steps away from a free FGM society.


_______________________
Some information taken from: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/kenya/fgm-maasai-women-spea...

culture HIV/AIDS FGM World Cup Maasai girls female circumcision




comments powered by Disqus

Learn More