Excision is an evil threatening the lives of women

Excision is an evil threatening the lives of women

Excision is an evil threatening the lives of women

/ SOCIETE / Friday, 03 June 2022 07:25
source photo: BBC
By Gloriose Ntirenganya

Excision is defined by the dictionary as “the removal of a small part”. The removal of the clitoris for ritual purposes is indeed a form of female genital mutilation. Why do we practice female circumcision? 

Excision is certainly practiced for religious and traditional considerations. Indeed, originally, it was a question of perpetuating the beliefs of past generations to keep the virginity of the young girl, according to religious norms.

In Africa, female circumcision is a sign of religious respect. This practice was very common until 1999, especially in Senegal. However, the consequences of excision no longer need to be demonstrated: circumcised women not only lost their dignity but had difficulty giving birth. In addition, we have noticed that most women who have their clitoris removed live with deep discomfort. 

Witness Assitan Dialo said "To tell you the truth, my pain is still deep. It's like a part of me is gone. The equipment that was used was not sterilized and the risks of tetanus were significant. God knows how we escaped tetanus. Today, I still feel pain daily. The risks of spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) are very high. Women have less pleasure during sex. This needs to stop quickly.'' 

The fight against excision began in the 1970s. With the support of NGOs, women's associations rose to vigorously denounce excision. In Senegal, Law No. 99-05 of January 29, 1999, under President Abdou Diouf has been and remains the shield that has pushed back this practice. Awareness sessions were held to put an end to the practice throughout the national territory. In Senegal, the prison sentence ranges from 6 months to 5 years for offenders. 

Why is female circumcision a human rights violation? Many factors have contributed to the criminalization of female circumcision, among which, is the non-respect of human rights, concerning "the physical and moral integrity of a person, as well as his right not to suffer discrimination based on sex, right to the consideration of the child's opinion. 

According to the 2005 demographic and health survey in Senegal, excision affected the lives of 28% of women (women aged 15 to 49 who reported being circumcised). In Senegal, despite the criminalization of the practice of excision, the practice has not completely disappeared even if we note an awakening of consciences in rural areas, where women make firm commitments to denounce the practices whatever the venue.

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