An Ordeal (FGM) that Subjects 50 Girls’ in Hospital,Burkina Faso

By Constance Ndeleko

Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) is the ritual of cutting or partially removing all external female genitalia which is a destructive operation with aims of inhibiting a woman’s sexual feelings mostly carried out to young girls,sometimes infancy to mark a rite of passage to adulthood.

This means if a child undergoes this undeserving procedure she is then exposed to child abuse such as Early child marriage,child labor, Neglect on education,child justice and it is against child rights as well as human rights.

Burkina Faso , is among one of the first countries which has law specifically banning the practice and criminalizing the practice and fight against FGM. But as of late the government has failed to budget for the national committee for the fight against FGM and has not been effective as it used to be thus creating loop holes that could have been sealed immediately .

Total number of girls mutilated is thought to be higher but not all have been traced says minister of women’s affair ,Laurence Marshall Illoudo. The victims were taken to Kaya Regional Hospital and Chiphra Protestant Hospital in the capital Ouagadougou. However,it is not yet clear how extensive the injuries are, but it is believed that those who fall victim to FGM suffer adverse consequences for the rest of their lives.

The form of female genital mutilation (FGM) or female genital cutting (FGC) practiced in Burkina Faso is Type II (commonly referred to as excision). It is deeply rooted in culture and cuts across class, religion and ethnic groups. It is performed throughout the country, in all but a few of the provinces.

There are very few arrest done and very few cases have been followed through the court system prompting concerned parties such as Equality Now to support a case in the court in 2017  that led to prosecution of 15 people involved.
It is common among all of the nation’s 45 provinces, but is particularly widespread in 14 of them. Among more than 50 distinct ethnic groups, only a few such as the Bella do not practice it. Also not practicing it are members of particular castes and secret societies (such as some of the Mossi mask societies in the Koundougou province).

Type II or excision is performed on girls and women in the provinces of Mouhoun, Yatenga, Zoundweogo, Naouri, Tapoa, Ganzourgoou, Houet, Kenedougou, Comoe and Kadiogo that includes the capital of Ouagadougou. In Ouagadougou some families, however, are beginning to abandon the practice.

Attitudes and Beliefs
According to socio-cultural beliefs, originally this practice had a single goal of assuring the fidelity of women. It is often connected with a rite of passage to adulthood and linked to cultural and/or religious beliefs. For example, young girls from the majority Mossi were traditionally secluded during the cutting and taught about their future duties as young women and mothers. The end of the girls’ seclusion was marked by a village-wide celebration with drinking and dancing.

Although FGM is declining in most regions, Unicef reported that at least 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries across the world, mostly in Africa and Asia. According to Unicef’s data, approximately 1 in 3 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have undergone the practice.

It is an Emergency call to the government of Burkina Faso to step in with immediate effect and respond as fast as possible for the safety and protection of these girls. Ironically Burkina Faso is to host the worldwide conference in which the African Union is going to declare a war against FGM.

We have to find alternative measures that will substitute this menace and let our girls live a safe,protected,healthy and mindful environment to achieve their full potential.We’re one lets fight for our girls.Lets educate them and lets educate our society all together .
Girls are awesome and beautiful the way they’re created.LET GIRLS BE GIRLS!

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