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Still thinking of one

PLEASE SEND ME YOUR MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTIONS.THANKS. YOU NOTICED I HAVENT DECIDE ON A TOPIC YET.This is my module 3.It should be less than 700 words but what I have written is about 900.Still thinking of an attractive topic.

Despite public support for the banning of Female Genital Mutilation, commonly known as FGM in Africa and the rest of the world, millions of girls and young women still undergo this practice every year. My country Liberia is no exception.FGM according to a World Health Organization definition is a procedure which involves partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non medical reasons .It also involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue and hence interfere with natural functions of girls and women bodies. Majority of women who undergo such harmful and inhumane practice are forced by their parents and or elders with some losing their lives while others are left to live with the health and traumatic effects, the rest of their lives. These are women who could have been Educators, Lawyers, Doctors, and Right Activists but have seen all hopes of a better future ruined because of such harmful practice.

As a young woman, I am of the opinion that this practice is out of age, inhumane and harmful and as such should be totally abolished. Our local leaders and elders who are suppose to be protecting the future generation have long been master minders of this act.FGM started when few men leaders thought women were nothing but sex partners and had no place in society but in the bedroom and the kitchen and to silence them the more and control them they created this ideology claiming it was part of their culture. For centuries they succeeded in carrying out this dehumanizing practice because women were illiterate and uneducated of the health implications of such practice. Now that the world has changed and is still changing, and studies have shown that FGM practice causes death, severe pain results, prolonged bleeding, infection, and more possibilities of attracting the HIV virus, infertility and maternal mortality and increase complication in child birth , I believe it is time we stop this practice.

According to the World Health Organization survey report, an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM in Africa with 3 million at risk annually. With such statistic, you can agree with me that FGM is indeed rampant in Africa and my country Liberia is of no exception. According to reports the prevalence rate in Liberia is at 60% despite the fact that Liberia is among 48 countries to sign the international Zero Tolerance on FGM. According to survey conducted in 2007, approximately 70% of girls have undergone FGM in Liberia. According to the Director of Psychological Division at the Ministry of Health in Liberia, FGM is a violation of human rights of women as stipulated in Article 24.3 of Convention on the rights of the child which states “State parties should take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children”.

FGM in Liberia is mainly carried out in the Sande school, a traditional school where girls are send to learn about their culture and which operates mainly in rural Liberia. While in the Sande bush girls miss out on a proper education and their genitals are mutilated .Most girls do not know what awaits them at the Sande bush because those who graduate are sworn to secrecy. Writing this article, I attempted asking girls about their ordeal at the Sande school but while most told me they attended the Sande school most of them were reluctant to explain their ordeal while at the school. FGM is mostly practiced in counties like Grand Bassa, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa and Bomi according to reports.

The long time argument for FGM is that it is a cultural practice handed down by ancestors. Others claim it discourages women from involving in illicit sexual acts and gets rid of body parts on the female that is considered male or unclean. Let me take tackle these arguments one at a time. The first one is that it is a cultural practice pass down from ancestors and cannot be abolished. Our ancestors started this practice in the 15th century or maybe further back. We are in the 21st century and the world is indeed changing. Back then our ancestors did not know the health implications of this practice but now that we know why then do we continue this practice? Some say it discourages illicit sexual practice. I believe if we were to focus more on giving a girl child an education that would solve the problem because With education come the sense of belonging, hopes of a brighter future, aspiration and the feeling of responsibility. What educated girl would want to engage in illicit sex activities to ruin her future? Still another argument is that FGM rids girls of unclean body parts. Who are we humans to determine if something is clean or unclean when God made everyone in his image and likeness?

I know you now agree with me that FGM must indeed be abolished because it offers more harm than good to girls. Although the President of Liberia has openly condemn this practice, I think it’s time we turn to another method which is making FGM a criminal offense as it represent a crime against humanity. With thousands of Liberian girls at risk of getting HIV, not getting a proper education, along with the sexual, physiological and psychiatric consequences every year what more proof do we need to show that FGM is indeed inhumane?

Comments

mrbeckbeck's picture

Good topic

Hi Laura,

I think that this is a powerful topic to write your OpEd on. Your draft here is a great start!

I think that with some editing help from your midwife, and a solid news hook (for example, a couple of weeks ago on February 6th, was the 8th International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM; or, with the civil unrest in Egypt what is the future of the practice there?), you will be in a good place for your final draft!

Way to go on getting the draft going even if you're unsure of the topic. Picking the topic and getting started can be the hardest part!

Best,
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

sapnashahani's picture

Good topic

Laura, this is an important topic. You could do some research and point out how many other countries have banned FGM and perhaps point out how criminalisation of the act reduced its occurence in other countries?

If you need to cut down the # of words, I think you could cut down your argument of why it is bad because as you have pointed out, most people realise that it is a bad practice already...

Hope this helps :)
Sapna.

warona's picture

Dear Laura! Amaizing

Dear Laura!

Amaizing woman,this is all powerful! This time you have triggered something in my head gal.My worry is : these inhumane practices such as genital matilation, i have never of any around in Botswana,they will rather increase than hurting themselves.Human rights must be used to help innocent peolple who are tricked into these dirty games.Most people in countries practising these they think its their right to accept such things. Really if God wanted us to be half pieces indeed he would have created us that way.

Yes even here in my country i cant deny it, there are some odd things happening.But that is not how things ahould be.CHANGE is all that can help.

Can you imagine Laura,how would it be, if people were still sacrificed upon the alters, oh yes until the truth be told about sacrifices, children 's lives were spared and no one dared to offer his / her child.

Well this is great Laura! Keep writing!

Wish you all the best

Warona

"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Laura Golakeh's picture

Hey

Thanks for your meaningful contributions.Appreciate it.Well I just decided to limit my op-ed on happenings in Liberia.

"Our time has finally come"

Fungai Machirori's picture

My thoughts

I love this, Thank you.

My one big suggestion is that for the first line of your closing paragraph, you be a bit less confrontational. When you say, "I know you now agree with me that FGM must indeed be abolished because it offers more harm than good to girls," it puts a bit of pressure on the reader to subscribe to your viewpoint. You can't be sure that everyone will believe that FGM is bad after reading one article because FGM is cultural, social and political. It takes time for people to change their beliefs, and sadly not usually just one article.

So I would say something more like, "I am sure you now agree with me that FGM is a dangerous practice that yields more harm than good for girls." It's a politer and more conversational way of asking that the reader think through what you have presented....

I hope that helps...

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Laura Golakeh's picture

Hey

I know Fungai.But since this is an op ed my aim is to really convince them.

"Our time has finally come"

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Hi Laura!

The first time I was aware about FGM, I was convinced it is more an issue of power than of culture. You do have very strong and convincing arguments in this piece, Laura. No doubt these arguments will go down to hit the sensitivity and sensibility of every society that still practice it. Way to go, sister!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

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