genital mutilation – At the Barcelona airport, the mossos d’esquadra have arrested a woman who was trying to take her daughter to Morocco to fly from there to her hometown in Sierra Leone.
What they have done has been, at the same time, to take away the passport of their daughter, who is only 17 months old, with a return order when she turns 18. The intention of this woman was to travel to perform an ablation on the minor, made totally illegal in our country and well-known persecuted.
Now, the Catalan Social Services are in charge of the girl, but let’s remember that this practice is widespread in sub-Saharan African countries and families do not hesitate to travel to their places of origin in order to practice this mutilation on the body of their daughters.
Used to control female sexuality, this practice includes the removal of all or part of the external genitalia. The most extreme practice is called infibulation where the opening of the vagina is sutured up to the minimum limit allowed to let out urine and menstrual bleeding.
Its origin is not clear. There is talk of Ancient Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa and even ancient Rome where slaves wore brooches or brooches attached to the labia to prevent pregnancy.
Actually, in Ancient Egypt no evidence has been found in mummies, nor was there a figure in which this practice was reflected, in any document or even in works of art of the time. The first mention that is made dates from the year 25 BC, being likely that the inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa had exported it.
A Greek papyrus dated to the year 163 BC mentions the operation performed on girls in Memphis, Egypt, at the age at which they received their dowry, which would support the idea that female genital mutilation originates as a form of initiation for young women.
The truth is that ancient civilizations saw it as a deformity and a shame that the clitoris was too large due to continuous rubbing against clothes, which stimulated sexual appetite. Therefore, the Egyptians considered it necessary to remove it before it became too big.
As early as the 19th century, clitoridectomy was practiced in England and the United States to treat psychological symptoms such as masturbation and nymphomania. Depression and neurasthenia were believed to be caused by genital inflammation.
Currently it has been recognized that female genital mutilation is a violation of the human rights of women and girls.
Sweden was the first country in the West to ban female genital mutilation, followed by the United Kingdom in 1985 and the United States in 1997. In the same year UNICEF and the WHO launched a joint statement against this practice, considering it a crime.
Islam, a religion that is practiced in the majority of countries that support it, has begun to distance itself from an action that has nothing to do with their religion, according to what Secretary General Ihsanoglu said at the IV Conference of the Intergovernmental Organization on the role of women in developing countries.
Today, an estimated three million girls are forcibly subjected to this mutilation procedure in 28 African countries and in others such as Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and in some communities in South America.
February 6 has been proclaimed as the “International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation”.
A long way to go considering the recent reaction of countries to abolish this aberrational practice, but we will continue to fight against it in order to eradicate it, like so many other evils that affect women in our century.
Originally published at LaDamadeElche.com