Radio chat explains FGM comes from Medieval history and not a Religion

By Furtuma Hakar
Anti-FGM activist Furtuma Hakar talks on Radio about how FGM is a result of medieval history and not an Islamic practice.

Girlkind Kenya Media Project

The past few days had been busy for us at Girlkind Kenya as we had been involved in community engagements in one way or the other, the media engagement in creating awareness against FGM had been a complete success.

The live radio broadcast run a whole day in the morning and the evening, the topic of discussion was the effects of FGM which was so well discussed by Ramass who is our FGM coordinator at Girlkind, Ramass discussed:

  • The types of FGM subjected to the young girls, she talked about the first one as the incision where the small part of the female reproductive organ is cut of course without any anesthesia this subjecting the girls to much pain.
  • She also talked about infibulation, where the top and the lower lips of the organ are cut, and she finally stressed the third and worst stage usually referred to as the pharaonic type. As the name suggests this type has its roots in medieval Egypt which was ruled by the pharaoh.

FGM started in Egypt…

Pharaoh had ordered the killing of all boys at birth because he was told a boy called Musa will be born who will take over his kingdom, so he ordered the killing of all boys, this practice continued for so many years until the women population increased tenfold with no men.

The women began raping the few men which become a course of concern, When he was told about it, he suggested women be subjected to this type of circumcision where the whole organ is disfigured and excavated inside out and outside in, the clitoris is severely uprooted and then stitched such that at times even urine becomes so difficult to pass.

Ramass also discussed the effects of FGM where she stated, with unpleasant sexual desire, the urge for women to have sexual intercourse is reduced. She talked about the difficulty in childbirth, she also said FGM causes death at times difficulties and pain in the passing of menstrual blood. On his part, the Sheikh was very much categorical and demystified the retrogressive bad Somali culture from religion, he said Islam does not advocate for female circumcision it is Somali, a culture that advocates for it.

The Sheikh said while quoting certain religious disciplines that the Arabs in the middle east and Arabia do not circumcise their girls. He stressed the need to shun away from the bad Somali culture which has no religious backing.

The program was relayed in the Somali language and reached a total population of 250, 000 people.

Community work

The second activity was the distribution of sanitary pads to the pupils of Jarirot primary school and adolescent girls our of school at our jarirot women centre.

This event was presided by our CEO Fatuma Ibrahim Hakar. She distributed 5 whole boxes bought for the girls, 80 girls in and out of school received the pads. This event was covered by Citizen TV which is a leading TV transmitting channel.

Summary

The campaign was well organised beside with tight budget not much could be done besides that local school has denied media access reason was all schools were instructed not to allow media, we had no option but to transport 80 students to our centre in Jaritot and did coverage there

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is an opera singer, writer, and creative. She is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music. She is working with GMC as the Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa.