Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Why Circumcise me?- A film
This health issue is something that has existed, mostly in Africa, for about 4000 years. The type of circumcision that is more problematic is Pharaonic, which removes the clitoris, inner, and some of the outer labia. The area is then stitched shut except for a tiny hole. Most of the girls with this procedure have trouble urinating and menstruating. They also endure a lot of pain on their wedding nights and during childbirth.
I don't want to be too graphic, but just want to give examples of some of the pain my friends have endured. One friend used to have to urinate a single drop at a time, it would take her several minutes to empty her bladder. Another's husband was not able to open her fully for 5 days after marrying. During childbirth, she had to be cut open in all four directions (like a plus sign) to allow the baby's head to pass. She also bled a lot and had to receive several units of blood. Some women die after being circumcised, or when giving birth in primitive conditions.
This practice is still way too common and we need to make sure it doesn't continue to happen to the next generation. I have seen my own friends suffer, but I know that it doesn't have to be that way for their daughters. It is also mostly the women in these cultures who do the circumcisions and insist on continuing the tradition.
The film is in Somali with English subtitles. It also goes into some of the social issues regarding circumcision. It is not only a Somali issue though. It also occurs all through populations in North and East Africa.