CAMEROON: Never Without My FGM
Another International Day was celebrated yesterday; the international day against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
It was an occasion to raise awareness on the health, social and psychological dangers of the practice performed for a variety of reasons, including the belief that FGM reduces a woman's sexual appetite, and can lower the risk of infidelity on the part of women.
Statistics were revealed. Startling statistics which, unfortunately, could be put to question. One source stated that about 20 percent of women in Cameroon are victims of FGM! Let's do a bit of mathematics here. If 52 percent of the population of say 18 million Cameroonians are women; then we should be talking of some two million women being victims of excision. By implication, one out of every five women in Cameroon should be a victim of genital mutilation. Am I right?
These figures are simply outrageous for a practice which many people do not even know about and that is already considered as out-dated in the little localities where it used to exist in yesteryears. The question is: how were these figures got? Was there a survey? Well, many people are of the opinion that the statistics have been blown up; maybe to satisfy the selfish desires of those who fit fat from organising meetings and seminars on the theme. In this way, the budgets of the sporadic campaigns around the issue can be justified. A way of saying that FGM has left our villages for seminar rooms in towns. And will live on, even if it is no longer practiced.
AUTHOR: Tche Irene Morikang
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