Female Genital Mutilation: True Life Story of A Rejected House-Wife
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the removal of part or all of the clitoris, is a form of discrimination against women and girls and a violation of their human rights.
Hajia Salamatu Dodo’s expression of dejection and frustration is unmistakable as she shares the story of her daughter, Shamsia, who is back to live in her parent’s house the long-term effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Hajia Dodo and her husband made the decision to have their daughter, Shamsia, circumcised by a traditional birth attendant in Yanrishaanya village in Nigeria when she was 5years to enable them get accepted in their society and feel honoured.
Narrating her experience, Hajia Dodo explained that the circumcision of their daughter had brought unexpected hardships and misery, contrary to the false beliefs surrounding the practice.
The circumcision of our daughter was supposed to bring us honor as her parents, but we never thought that she would be rejected and abandoned by her husband after marriage, says Dodo.
Hajia Dodo recalled that her daughter’s husband summoned them to the hospital for the birth of their grandchild, only to announce that he was no longer interested in their marriage due to Shamsia’s continuous stillbirths and the financial burden he faced in caring for her. He handed over Shamsia’s belongings and left them at the hospital.
Hajia Dodo revealed to Royal News that her daughter’s husband was further broken when he discovered that she had multiple sexual partners.
She warned against the harmful practice of FGM which had no immediate or future benefits but brought short and long-term consequences, including death. She urged parents and practitioners of FGM to stop the inhumane act.
In a further chat with our reporter, the victim-Shamsia said she didn’t wish FGM on any female because it consequences leaves a lifelong discrimination and at times rejection on victims.
When I met my husband, I never had the thought that I would one day be rejected and abandoned by man who once loved me. I really feel depressed now, not only did I get rejected and abandoned, I am skeptical of going into either a relationship or marriage because I don’t think I can never forget the psychological trauma and disgrace brought upon me and my family because I got circumcised by my parents at young age,” said Shamsia.
Shamsia explained that just like many other women who underwent FGM, she suffered prolonged and obstructed labour in which she had already experienced two still births, coupled with rejection and abandonment.
I have lost trust and confidence in men and in marriage due to my persistent feel of anxiety and depression as it concerns my sexual dysfunction which contributed greatly to my divorce, laments Shamsia.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the removal of part or all of the clitoris, is a form of discrimination against women and girls and a violation of their human rights. It is considered one of the most cruel acts of gender-based violence against women. While FGM is often performed by traditional excisors, over 70% of cases, it is also sometimes performed by medical professionals.
According to UNICEF, FGM remains widespread in Nigeria, with an estimated 19.9 million survivors. Nigeria has the third-highest number of women and girls who have undergone FGM globally. Despite a decrease in the national prevalence of FGM among women aged 15-49, from 25% in 2013 to 20% in 2018, the prevalence among girls aged 0-14 increased from 16.9% to 19.2% over the same period, according to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. An estimated 86% of females were cut before the age of 5, while 8% were cut between the ages of 5 and 14.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified four types of FGM, they are:
- Type I is called clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce.
- Type II is called excision: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora. The amount of tissue that is removed varies.