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Good News for Nigerian Girls

Story ID:10584
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:- - Nigeria
Person:Pres. Goodluck Jonathan
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Yesterday I read this wonderful news on TakePart- ďAs He Leaves Office, Nigerian
Presidentís Parting Gift a lifesaver for Girls.Ē Could it be the ending of genital mutilation?
Yes, thatís exactly what it is. I am so happy for those Nigerian girls who will now be
spared this cruel and unnecessary invasive procedure. And God bless outgoing
President Goodluck Jonathan for this compassionate stance- even though it should
have been done earlier in his term as president.

The ending of genital mutilation was one of my daily prayer petitions. I simply could
not wrap my head around anyone doing this to young, innocent girls. Sadly, though-
this petition will have to stay on my prayer list. There are other nations who will
continue to mutilate their girls with genital cutting.

I remember seeing a Nicholas Kistof video about this procedure and he described for
us on camera what was going on behind closed doors to one poor young victim. We know
that she was being held down while the cutting was done by a woman wielding a knife.
Who would ever be willing to perform this cruel ďsurgery?Ē Maybe those who do feel
it would be better done by a woman than a man.

I donít remember if we heard the victimís most certain painful screams, but I knew that she
certainly must have screamed at the top of her lungs since there was no anesthesia or
drugs being used to to help numb her from what must have been excruciating pain.
What amazes me most is that this is still happening in the 21st century.

I never knew exactly why this horrible practice was being done in the first place but
TakePartís News Editor Shaya Tayefe Mohajer did and said that ďFemale genital mutilation,
....is a difficult custom to curb in the communities where it still flourishes. Itís advocates
believe the procedure helps future husbands control women, reducing their sexual appetite
and makes them more docile and marriageable.Ē

How terribly, terribly sad and unjust. Itís all about the manís needs and no concern whatever
of the womanís. Even though the United Nations passed a resolution in December 2012
for member nations to ban the practice, she notes that attitudes shift more slowly than law.

In some states in Nigeria the UN estimates that about 25 percent of girls and women between
the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone genital cutting. But Mohajer reports that it is even
more pervasive in Guinea, Egypt, and Somalia where more than 90 percent of girls and women
undergo genital cutting. For people of prayer, please join me in prayer that one day this
horror will completely stop.

Iíve often wondered why Africa and some countries in the Middle East where this patriarchal
culture exists are so backward. And Mohajer points out that it is the belief of activists that
the FGM cutlure which oppresses women has kept economic growth back as well. This makes
sense to me. Only when education and freedom for women and girls in developing societies
are closely linked will there ever be growth and prosperity in the countries which so long have
denied women their rights.