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What is female genital mutilation?

April 23, 2021

During much of human history, one of the constant situations has been the control over women, their body and mainly the control of their sexuality.

It seems that our ability to feel pleasure is something that scares and therefore it is necessary to keep it under control. That is why we have always been told that masturbation is something dirty, that the beginning of our sexual life must be penetrative and accompanied by a man, therefore our orgasms must always be thanks to a penis.

All these myths are aimed at psychologically controlling our pleasure. But in certain cultures on the African continent, manipulation is done directly and explicitly in the woman's body. This is known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

FGM or ablation consists of a series of interventions for the total or partial removal of the external genital organs; from cutting the clitoris to sewing the entrance to the vagina. Most of these procedures are done on girls and adolescents. According to the WHO, the reasons are different depending on the place, culture and time, but in most cases, the following are always present:

  • Ensuring that women become "virgins" at marriage.
  • Maintain the purity of the body. For some cultures, female genitalia is dirty and cutting or removing them purifies the body of girls.
  • Prepare them for marriage.

How do these interventions control women?

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With these mutilations, women are expected to fear sexuality. The procedure causes constant infections, painful periods, bleeding. With these consequences, it is expected that the libido of women will decrease, ensuring that they will not have sexual relations before marriage and ensuring fidelity afterwards.

Fortunately, more and more young women are joining together with civil associations to eradicate these practices. Currently, women between the ages of 15 and 19 are less likely to have suffered it than older women, and increasingly young people believe that it is an activity that should be eradicated.

No matter what culture you are from, most of us women have had to go through a process of constant struggle to understand that our body and our pleasure are ours and only we can decide how when and with whom to share this pleasure.

When a woman enjoys her body without guilt, without fear and well informed, she is committing a revolutionary act, an act of liberation and self-love.

On the World Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. It is necessary to stop violent acts that violate the rights of girls, adolescents and women and perpetuate abuse, inequality and punishment of sexuality.