How I fought FGM in the United States – Amirah’s Story

Feb 6, 2020

Asante Africa Foundation

In order to achieve better success in the FGM fight, I sometimes wish the men who impose FGM felt the pain that women felt. I know that if they felt the excruciating pain and experienced the loss of sexual pleasure, FGM would have been banned in their communities. We would have more male advocates against it. Women who fight for FGM are often from the older generation and/or are uneducated about it. My father from Ethiopia are among the many people who have brought FGM to the United States but I was the first to bring FGM to be to tried in court. I was lucky to have my mother fight for me. My father was sentenced to 10 years in prison for what he had done to me. That was my justice but there is still so much ignorance in the culture. FGM could only be eradicated by education.

In the effort to eradicate FGM, today is recognized as the Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation Day. My name is Amirah and I am FGM Survivor and Activist.

Educate yourself on FGM. It is not a religious practice. That is what many claim but this is not true. There is no health benefit from FGM, if anything it deteriorates your health. Sex is no longer pleasurable, it is painful. Sex should be a pleasurable experience for both people involved. Men think their women are clean after FGM but really they just made that sacred experience worse for the both of them.

The pain and suffering is not worth the exchange of marriage. You get cut but you may die from a cut you think is simple. On January 31, 2020, a 12-year old girl died because she bled to death after having FGM done to her. She was young and she had not even fully experienced life yet. It all could have been prevented. I cried when I read the article. Another life gone. 7 days after her death, the world will internationally acknowledge Anti-FGM day. This hurts me and it hurts the millions of others who read the article on that day. I know there are many other girls who have died bleeding to death or from having life threatening infections. This is why I call us survivors, not victims. If you have gone through FGM, you have also escaped death in that moment.

 How many more young girls are we going to let bleed to death because of an unnecessary practice that is controlled in these patriarchal societies?

 FGM is not worth the pain. FGM is not worth the loss of a loved one.

 This day is important because there are millions of women and girls at risk. Do not wish this pain on your daughters. It is not worth losing them.

 There are many advocates and fighters against FGM. Girls should finish school and not get married at young ages. Your financial investment in her education is better than an investment in her marriage. A woman should feel whole and should be able to experience sexual pleasure like any other human being.

 FGM only takes away… it does not give.

 Written by: Amirah

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