We are awake: STOP Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

[“SHARE” APR – JUN 2019 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS

 

We put on armors to fight to eliminate harmful traditional practices
Subvert the harmful influences and effects
We are united and determined to take actions
Because we are now well awaken to the scourge.

 

Ignorant people in the past
Have been badly harmed by them
Because they did not know any better.
Ignorant people in the past believed
Harmful traditional practices were good for them
When indeed their lives were at stake.

 

Female Genital Mutilation is a major harmful practice.
Sugar-coated as prestigious and noble,
FGM suffocated our mothers
We regret and repent for the harm incurred.
FGM steals away sexual pleasures, corrupts marriages
And adds complications to child birth.

 

(Lyrics edited by CEDAR Fund, originally written by a member
from the ant-FGM group in Ethiopia.)

 

Under the warmth of the bright and serene sun, a group of Ethiopian village and school girls stood before a hundred villagers, and sang the above song with shiny smiles and beaming faces. Some of them had a uniformed yellow T-shirt on, where the slogan “STOP Female Genital Mutilation” was displayed clearly in the local language. This day was the special day of village education day, and also the performance day of the advocacy club.

Continue reading We are awake: STOP Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Liberating Female’s Body and Soul from Genital Mutilation

A mere thought of the procedure of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), where a woman’s labia and clitoris are completely or partially removed, causing her virginal opening to be largely covered by the healing scar tissues, casts no doubt on the brutality of such practice. It is further heart breaking to think that the procedure was done to “ensure” pre-marital puberty. Places such as Ethiopia traditionally practices FGM where countless females were damaged both physically and mentally, with the resulting increased birth complication risks and pain during sexual intercourse.

Continue reading Liberating Female’s Body and Soul from Genital Mutilation

Men and Women Joined Hands Against Harmful Traditional Practices in Ethiopia

Female genital mutilation is still prevalent in Ethiopia [1]. Such derogative custom brought severe physical and mental distress upon females, and the participation of men is imperative in the fight against the system.

Continue reading Men and Women Joined Hands Against Harmful Traditional Practices in Ethiopia

Restoring Women’s Self-worth and Dignity by Breaking Cultural Vices

[ ‘SHARE’ Nov-Dec 2015 ] STEP INTO THE WORLD

Breaking cultural vices needs constant intervention and promotion to achieve results. CEDAR’s partner in Ethiopia, Kale Heywet Church Development Commission (EKHC-DC), fights against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Although FGM is banned, the traditional thinking and practice of genital mutilation as a means of ensuring chastity is deep-rooted. EKHC-DC therefore actively educates the public on the harmfulness of FGM through promotional events and workshops, and organises “combat groups” and ‘public awareness ambassadors’ to fight against FGM.

Continue reading Restoring Women’s Self-worth and Dignity by Breaking Cultural Vices

Pray for the Preparation Work Against FGM in Ethiopia

[ePrayer – Pray for the battle against FGM in Ethiopia]

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In Ethiopia today, many women and girls are still suffering from the threat of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)[1]. This traditional harmful practice not only makes sufferers lose their dignity but also brings irreversible physical damage and severe emotional pain in their entire lives. 

According to the official research findings of Ethiopia in 2011, around 23% of the women population under or aged 14 have experienced FGM.  The percentage of FGM victims in the high-risk areas even hit 47%.  Despite the fact that the Federal Government of Ethiopia has put up laws against FGM based on gender equality, it’s sad that many families are still unwilling to abandon this harmful tradition, as the parents still hope that their girls will be blessed for good marriage and living through this act linking to moral benefits such as purity and virginity.

From the financial support received from an overseas organisation, Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) has implemented FGM project in 10 areas since 2000.  Through community education and advocacy work, people are educated about the problems brought by FGM and their wrong concept of purity is corrected.  Besides, EKHC helped circumcisers to develop new skill sets so that they could change jobs for a new life.  All these work resulted in a significant reduction of FGM incidence in the community during that period.  However in 2012, EKHC found it difficult to continue their work due to financial constraints.

CEDAR is going to support our partner EKHC to conduct a survey interviewing 1,000 people in 5 targeted villages.  The interviewees include the unmarried, married, religious leaders, local officials and circumcisers. By obtaining the latest findings and figures, our partner can arrange better work and services against FGM in the near future, hoping that the practice will be completely eliminated soon and the females there will no longer need to suffer physically and emotionally. 

Pray for the battle against FGM in Ethiopia:

  • EKHC is currently working hard on the survey questionnaire.  Our partner is conferring with local officials about the selection of interview districts and the recruit of 15 suitable interviewers for this survey.  Pray that God will lead this project so that they can collect useful data for the upcoming plans.
  • Pray that God will protect those women and girls who are still threatened by FGM and have mercy on those who still suffer from the sequela of FGM.  We stand by them hoping that this harmful practice will be eliminated soon.


[1] Female genital mutilation includes partial or total removal of a girl’s clitoris and labia; wound healing resulting in closure of the virginal opening prevents the girl from having any premarital sex and thereby preserving her chastity.

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The International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (6 Feb)

[ePrayer – Pray for those who are suffered and threatened by FGM]

Nengai, experienced FGM/C at 9 years of age, was told, ‘You need to be circumcised to be married, so that if you get pregnant you don’t bring shame to your family.’

Agnes, 14 years old, says, ‘They covered my face… grabbed my legs and arms, and then excised me. Blood was coming out.’

Kiouala, 51 years old, recalls, ‘When they finished cutting me and made me stand up, those who went before me were sitting on leaves. I saw blood everywhere. This fear, I still have it inside.’

Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

According to a recent UNICEF publication, at least 125 million girls and women have experienced FGM in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated. Given present trends, as many as 30 million girls under the age of 15 may still be at risk.

‘There are many traditional harmful practices which are detrimental to the women only. The most inhuman thing is that they have to go through female genital mutilation.’ CEDAR’s programme officer shared after visiting Ethiopia. FGM may cause severe pain and can result in prolonged bleeding, infection and even death. It violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life. ‘Statistics show that many girls or women die from FGM. Although this is already banned by the law, it is still commonly practiced in many villages.’

With the effort of fighting against this harmful traditional practice by UN agencies and NGOs, FGM is becoming less prevalent overall and the younger generation is less vulnerable to the practice. According to UNICEF estimates, on average, 36 % of girls aged 15-19 have been cut compared to an estimated 53 % of women aged 45-49. However, there are still 30 million girls at risk who need our prayers, protection and support. [UN, UNICEF, UN Women]

Meditate on Scripture:

‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?’ Isaiah 58: 6-7

Oh Lord, we heard the voice, read the word and saw the video of the girls and women who have been suffered from FGM. They were created by God in Your image, just like us. However, their value and dignity of life is destroyed by the inhuman culture and traditional practice. Oh Lord, please let us know how we can stand by them to fight against FGM and gender discriminations in their culture and society.

Pray for those who are suffered and threatened by FGM:

  • Pray that FGM will be ended very soon;
  • Pray that God will protect and rescue those girls who are still threatened by FGM;
  • Pray that God will change the culture and value of those FGM prevailing nations and communities, let them recognise the value and dignity of female placed by God;
  • Pray for God’s mercy and healing to those women who are still suffered from the sequela of FGM.