Cover Your Tracks

July 3, 2015

By: Sami Ullah

Cutting out the Cutters

It’s rare I find a news story that leaves me in a state in utter disbelief. I always knew that FGM was and is still happening. I am also aware that “cutters”, individuals who carry out the practice on essentially helpless young girls exist. However it never occurred to me that they would be happy to give interviews, stating their “reasons” for continuing the practice of FGM.

It’s rare I find a news story that leaves me in a state of utter disbelief.

What really struck me about the article were the women themselves – and it is mostly women who continue the practice, contrary to popular belief – and the descriptions of them. A “half-blind” cutter from Kenya is 86 years old and has been cutting for over 70 years. Just think about what that means – this particular person has been causing distress to other young girls since she was around 16 years old; which is how old some of the girls she cut may have been.

In the interview the cutter states her opinion as if they are hard facts, although many of the reasons she gives for continuing the practice are not scientifically true. The lies they feed to the girls who go through FGM are beyond belief. Some of the things they tell girls to convince them to go through FGM are that if they don’t go through with FGM then they are “slaves of the west”. Another myth that girls are told is, if they don’t have FGM “their organ would grow until it touched the floor.” It genuinely astounds me that these lies are still continued and that girls continue to go through FGM.

It is known that FGM has absolutely NO health benefits. Also FGM is not a requirement in any religion. FGM does not need to happen. Awareness raising and education are key in helping to end FGM within a generation.

I really don’t know what to think about “cutters” and the reasons FGM continues. This has opened up a whole new aspect of FGM to think about, I hope it does for you as well. It has also made me firmer in the belief that FGM must stop.


Sing. Shout. Smile. Laugh. Live. #EndFGM

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