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ETHIOPIA: Saved From The Afony Of Female Circumcision

Millions of women around the world are subjected to genital mutilation. But, in Ethiopia, the practice is slowly disappearing, writes Paul Vallely

Hanna Abera with her aunt, Tijitu Obsu, who saved the seven-year-old from being circumcised

PAUL VALLELY

Hanna Abera with her aunt, Tijitu Obsu, who saved the seven-year-old from being circumcised

 

This is Hanna Abera. She is seven. Her mother and grandmother wanted to slice off part of her genitals. But she was saved by an extraordinarily brave intervention from her aunt after a British charity launched a programme of education on the consequences of female circumcision which is still widely practised throughout parts of Africa and the Middle East.

No one knows how many women are subjected to the procedure but it is thought that over two million procedures are performed every year. Amnesty International estimates that over 130 million women worldwide have been affected by some form of what it calls female genital mutilation.

In Ethiopia, which is where Hanna lives, 70 to 80 per cent of women are circumcised, as are almost all men. But this is not a bad news story. It is about change for in the region around the town of Woliso in the central part of the country a remarkable project has brought a revolution in social attitudes.

SOURCE: The Independent

AUTHOR: Paul Vallely

URL: Click here

DATE: 12/01/2010

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