Is Female Genital Mutilation a Religious practice?

When I discuss the topic of female genital mutilation and its practice in East Africa, some of you might think that it is a practice that is rooted in various religions. I have good news for you that there is no single religion that has any justification for this horrible practice. From Islam to Christianity, no one can claim that female genital mutilation is legal.

Some of you might say why I choose to write about this subject is because millions of girls around the world are a victim of this act. It is absolutely right, but also remember the significance of this week to the campaign for eradication of female genital mutilation. Yesterday was marked the international day for kicking FGM out of this planet. It is a day to remember those who have been subjected to this brutal act. It is also a day to remind world leaders of their obligation to this course. If the world leaders would prioritize the agenda of eliminating this inhumane act, I hope we could have saved millions of girls from ever going through this pain again. As one friend of mine who was a victim of this act once said to me, “I would rather die than going through this again.”

As we commemorate the week in honor of the powerless young girls who go through this pain every day, let us keep in mind that each of us has a responsibility to stop this brutal act in any way we can. We don’t have to be rich, celebrity or even a president, all we need is to be humane and stop this inhumane act.

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The Life of a Somali girl

In culture, language, and way of life, the people of Somalia are largely one homogenous group. They live in the present day Somalia, Northeastern Kenya, the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, and parts of Djibouti. They have a distinct culture that suits their occupation as a pastoralist community, and are socially conservative when it comes to the practice of their culture. Like any other culture around the world, the Somali culture has its share of bad practices that cause harm to its members. I will discuss the effect of Female genital mutilation that most of the Somali girls are subjected to go through.

According to the Somali culture, every Somali girl has to go through this practice before she gets married, and if she does not, she will not get married and therefore will cause harm to the honor of her family. This process involves cutting of the girl’s clitoris and some steps of stitching. This will have medical complication on the girl-child, while also psychologically killing her feelings. I am not an expert, but I am a Somali and part of my family members have gone through this, and I know the complication it comes with.

My argument is that, a girl’s life should not be ruined for the sake of fruitless cultural practice, and that the Somali women deserve their voice to be heard. It is against the will of every Somali women to through this pain, because their voices have long been silenced, they are made to through difficult traumas before their 18th birthday. Remember a cultural is good when it does not humiliate its members. It is time to stop this barbaric practice in the Somali culture.