By Laetitia Ponde Nkot
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) means the sectional or a complete extraction of the female external genitals, or other wounds of the female private parts. FGM is put into practice by some communities throughout Africa, Asia, America, Europe, and Australia. Female Genital Mutilation is an ecumenical issue.
Tribes view FGM as a traditional cultural habit, a rite of femininity, or a precondition for spousal relationships. Some also observe it as a religious tradition. In reality, FGM is linked with typical discriminatory gender.
200 million women and girls everywhere in the world are touched by folklore.
FGM is a dereliction to women and girls, and it makes stronger discriminatory sexist convictions apropos of the confines of a girls’ fire in her belly and sexual instinct.
In the short term, FGM results in haemorrhage, infections, and deaths. In the long term, the survivors encounter sexual, mental, and obstetric complications, such as infant lifelessness, occurring between the onset of labour and delivery, or neonatal mortality, meaning that deadness arise within the first 28 days of life of the newborn.
COVID-19 has made things worse for young girls. FGM has been neglected. In general, the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP) for sexual and reproductive health promises prompt basic help to wounded women, but information from Nigeria, India, and Malaysia relay that health and rights have been diminished, even abandoned. A similar situation arose during the Ebola and Zika epidemics in 2013 and 2016, and there was more destruction of GMF women than deceased from the outbreaks.
In Malaysia, family planning clinics have been reduced or stopped, to provide support related to COVID-19. What type of solutions? When survivors of excision needed these SRHR services! In Indonesia, shelters were closed; and we have no information on the state of girls in Asia, where no laws exist to protect them.
In East Africa and the Horn of Africa, there has been a 31% heighten in FGM crises in Somaliland, Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan, compared to the pre-COVID period. Confinement was the perfect opportunity to excise girls. In Puntland, Somalia, lockdown enabled FGM to proceed with no worries, while the non-existence of one in Hargeisa, allowed for the ‘cutters’ to hit to seven houses a day to carry out extractions.
Break in the clouds, the COVID-19 provoked calls off FGM rituals in Indonesia and Malaysia, camps ensuring necessities rather than overpriced red tape.
The other side of the picture is that the lack of money effects some parents to give
their daughters in exchange for a little food.
Kenya's anti-FGM law makes the practice illegal, with divulgation obligations, and the implementation of extraterritorial jurisdiction. It is supposed to be one of the most impenetrable and uncompromising enactments, in spite of that, the inhabitants living at the frontiers regularly traverse towards surrounding states to perform the rite; West Pokot media indicated a substantial augmentation in acts of female ablation, with 500 during the lockdown time.
In the Rift Valley and Samburu, bands use male circumcision ceremonies to cut out girls' private parts in secret; and in Kuria East, seniors set forth COVID-19 is gods-sent punishment for leaving traditional culture, including female circumcision, and declared to crowd that a return to cultural rites will conciliate them and put a stop to the pandemic.
The same issue in Somalia, whereas FGM is illegal, Plan International, a humanitarian organisation across the world, advancing children’s rights and equality for girls, has described finding out from the public's phone calls about rogues going door to door to offer their works. Conservative and religious groups protest, forbidding mete out punishments to miscreants; 98% of women have suffered from these infringements.
In the UK, it is feared that women may not have been able to access health care due to the decline in events: between July and September 2020, 635 cases were reported, compared to 1,010 over the same period in 2019.
In 2020, plan international instituted the ‘Decade of Action’, a global call to accelerate sustainable solutions to the world's greatest challenges: inequalities, poverty, and discrimination, and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.What’s this load of rubbish? By sustainable, does this mean, sustainable over time, viable, or cost-effective? Profit-making methods and resources to fight against equality, poverty, and discrimination?
I quote, ‘But with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic - school closures, service disruptions and rising household monetary poverty have increased girls’ risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation and impeding progress towards meeting SDG target.’ I find this statement simply revolting.
Listen up guys, ‘Two million additional incidents of female genital mutilation may happen over the next decade as COVID-19 shutters schools and disrupts programmes that help protect girls from this harmful practice. Even before COVID-19 upended progress, the Sustainable Development Goals target of ending female genital mutilation by 2030 was an ambitious commitment.’ This statement is just shocking! Do you think this is an ambitious commitment when you take into account the number of women who may die in between times?
Once again, ‘Far from dampening “our ambition...” Gosh! ‘…However, the pandemic has sharpened our resolve to protect the 4 million girls and women who are at risk of female genital mutilation each year.’ You’re too kind.
Be all ears, ‘Even in countries where female genital mutilation is already declining, progress needs to increase ten-fold to meet the global target of elimination by 2030. This will require some $2.4 billion over the next decade, which breaks down to less than $100 per girl.’ This is a very small price to pay for preserving a girl’s bodily integrity. ‘Indeed!‘...her health and her right to say “no” to violations! I think they already said no, before being excised, and indeed, it was their ‘natural right’ as the owner of their body, to do so!
‘However, most of this money has yet to be raised.’ Uh, let me think, who could help us?
$ 100 per girl, it is a good value for money! Maybe a collection from the celebrities, they might be happy to help us; or maybe we could appeal to companies around the world, so they can include this in their Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) goals, and maybe we could end it and save lives by 2050, a brilliant action plan, isn't it?
I cite, ‘We must act, quickly, decisively and on many fronts simultaneously.’I confirm, we must!
'Let us encourage the leadership skills of adolescent girls and their male peers and inspire their power to speak out and say “enough” to all forms of violence, including violent assaults on their bodies.' Adult male peers, let's put them in jail.
Over the past decades, FGM has been recognized as both a human rights violation and a form of child abuse, with around 59 countries having passed laws against it, including 26 African countries. Attend attentively to what will come after, only 0.12% of global humanitarian funding has gone to essential assistance between 2016 and 18!
According to Plan International, 'Simply put, if gender equality was a reality, there would be no female genital mutilation. This is the world we envision, and the Sustainable Development Goals chart the path to get us there.'
It seems to me that, if human beings showed humanity or just common sense; that the mothers loved their daughters rather than selling them to men who treat them as pieces of meat. If the already existing laws in some countries were maintained, and if laws were quickly enacted wherever there are none, and transgressions were punished, we could simply eradicate this stupid and inhumane practice and stop murdering women, girls and newborn babies, tomorrow.
Sexist ideas are certainly the basis of their actions, but it is above all a pretext, supposed grounds that we furnish to the madness of these men!
 Orchid Project, ‘Working together to end female genital cutting’, <https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/COVID_female_genital_cutting_FGC_policy_briefing_Orchid_Project_FINAL%20%281%29.pdf>, access September 2020, p.4, introduction. ibid, p.6 ibid. Ibid, p.13, para 1. ibid, p.10. Ibid. p.14. ibid. ibid, p.11.  Unicef, <https://www.unicef.org/media/88751/file/FGM-Factsheet-2020.pdf>, October 2020, p.3  https://www.unicef.org/reports/2020-annual-report-female-genital-mutilation-covid19, access September 2021, para 1. Unicef, https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/2-million-additional-cases-female-genital-mutilation-likely-occur-over-next-decade, access 5 February 2017, para 1. ibid, para 4. ibid, para 6. Ibid. Ibid.  Ibid, para 2. Ibid, para 7.  (n 1) p.5. ibid.