Female Genital Mutilation / FGM / Girl Child Beading
As a clinical nurse specialist, working in the field of sexual and reproductive health for over 30 years, I thought I had heard just about everything and was ‘unshockable.
I was so wrong. And this is the second time in my career that I have felt this way.
((… The first was many years ago when I thought I was ‘worldly wise’ but how wrong was I, back then, when a lady who worked in the sex industry decided to take me under her wing and she gently opened my eyes to a world of sex that I didn’t even have the imagination for in those days – that was way back in the late 90s. She nominated me for an “Erotic Oscar” as they were called back then (they are now called “Erotic Awards”) because she was determined to help me with the promotion of my first book – published back in 1995. More on that another time…))
Whilst researching FGM / Female Genital Mutilation (formerly called Female Circumcision) material for my fourth book, “Sexplained Two – For Changing Times“, I came across another barbaric practice called “Girl Child Beading”.
It is practiced by the Samburu tribe in Northern Kenya, and a lot of work is going on to get it stopped.
Learning about Girl Child Beading has stayed with me for several years now, and is etched deep in my mind.
I wasn’t going to include it in the book, but an Editor friend said ‘No, add it into the book, it’s important‘ – so I did.
As barbaric as Female Genital Mutilation is, and thank goodness there is now international traction to get that stopped, I think ‘Girl Child Beading’ is as bad, if not perhaps worse. If that can even be imagined!
I will write a post about ‘Girl Child Beading’ another time, but for now, I hope that this FGM information is of use.
I hope it can help someone, somewhere, to save at least one young girl or young women from being forced to endure this dangerous and painful practice.
As a ‘westerner’ I can only imagine the terror these young people face. They do so at the hands of the women they should feel safest with, in the entire world – their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other elders in their community.
There is absolutely no medical reason for Female Genital Mutilation, unlike the controversial practice of male circumcision, which can be performed to help a man who has phimosis that can’t be treated any other way.
Unlike the controversial practice of male circumcision, and apart from when that is performed for cultural reasons, it can be performed medically to help a man who has phimosis that can’t be treated any other way. FGM is practiced culturally, too, but for that, there is no medical reason, or health-related benefit, ever. Indeed, the opposite.
Here’s an infographic that I designed, with some material taken from the book.