According to an article in the Guardian, there is an increase in female circumcision in the United Kingdom despite it being an illegal practise since 1985. The article highlights that during the summer months girls 500 to 2000 girls are flown to countries where this practise is widespread, so as not to arouse suspicion during school term time. There is also an increase in women coming to the UK to practise these circumcisions on groups of children as it is cheaper to fly one person over than for families to fly together.
Female Genital Mutilation has been discussed on this blog by Samantha Bradbeer before, but the increase is worrying especially as many of the girls don’t know what is going to happen. In a similar article in the Guardian, the story of one girl Jamelia is told. Now 20 years old, she remembers being excited about travelling on a plane and packing her Harry Potter book. Jamelia knew that something was going to happen, and she believed it was part of her religion, but nothing could have prepared her for what actually happened. She describes the pain and detachment of her body suffered afterwards. The years of pain and medical problems--especially when it comes to childbirth--are just one aspect of the repercussions of FGM.
It is seen as clean, neat and provides increased sexual pleasure for the male, but besides the women protesting this practise, there are also men who are against the practise, as sex is commonly painful and endured, but not enjoyed, by a woman who has suffered FGM. Female circumcision is an issue that should be written about and publicized every day until it stops.
Julie Anne Young
Girl Museum Inc.