It is dawn again in the small resourceful village in Ikeduru Local Government area, poor Mrs. Ekemma who has been a victim of spite and neglect in her very large family comprising three otherwives, gives birth to her fifth daughter in a local home in theirvillage. The tears of this girl child that should stimulate joy in her mother rather gave birth to more tears, as her other four daughters have faced the discrimination and inhumanity culture metes out to the girl child: no formal education, early marriage, teenage pregnancy etc. But the most grueling of all is what they called ‘ibi nwaanyi ugwu'(female circumcision) otherwise called ‘Female Genital Tract Mutilation.
This practiced has long been hinged on mythical and cultural beliefs of various tropical countries such as: it aids to reduce/prevent fornication or promiscuity in the girl child. Female genital mutilation entails cutting off part of or the entire external female genitalia called the vulva(vaginal orifice, urethral orifice, labia major and minor, mons pubis). For Ekemma’s first four daughters this was performed as part of their famous yearly cultural practice where the female children are lined up in the village square and are mutilated one after another, locally, and with the same blade, there are no pain relievers, and members of the community gather like clouds to witness this August event.
Ekemma’s first daughter Urimma felt so much pain as it will be for her other three daughters, many years past puberty she never saw her menses are adhesion tissues have covered up the external genitalia, she got married to the apple of her eye but sex was an uphill task, she has been tagged to be possessed by an even spirit and has been sent to the ‘eye of the gods ‘for examination. The second daughter Eririmma in addition to the pain this barbaric event is marked with also after some weeks began to lose weight, with intense fever, diarrhoea, and many respiratory diseases this will later be diagnosed by Doctor Thompson as HIV/AIDs as it lingered and now Eririmma was dead. Dr Thompson said that this is as a result of the sharing of blades and the unhygienic way the event is done, he named so many other diseases that can be transmitted this way: hepatitis, viral haemorrhagic fevers, syphilis, viruses such as (CMV).Then the third child at the course of event lost a lot of blood, she developed fever, chills, and rigors shortly afterwards (infection), and died few days later (septic shock) her name is Olamma..
So, Dr. Thompson began to hold a campaign against local FGM, claiming he can do it with lesser complications and more hygienically, but the female genitals is a tract and should never be bridged. There has still been continuous complaint of painful sexual intercourse, obstructed labour, prolonged layout, even infertility, and this is the fate Ekemma’s last daughter Mmirimma is bound to face…
Thus, today the WHO has launched this campaign to save Mmirimma and the many of her kind. This has been fostered through rallies, different forms of public awareness programs, laws have been enacted against this act whether modernized or the ancient form.Female education has been an effective tool.
We must say No to FGM in all its forms and kind, we must say no to violence and sexual discrimination, we must protect the rights of our female child, ‘It is a tract and should never be compromised’.
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