We all have heard about refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. No matter the term we use, they are all people trying to get away from a life of some sort of oppression and seeking a better life for themselves and their family. The civil liberties and freedom we take for granted are considered paradise for many of those who arrive on our shores and in our countries.
My question is, if our countries are so wonderful and liberating then why do they bring the very things they are running from with them? They bring their daughters so they have a chance to be educated, experience equality and experience a life free of rape and forced marriages. Yet they punish them or even kill them because they chose to date someone outside their religion, nationality or even because of the last name. They consider it as “shaming the family name.” If they choose to dress like their peers, choose not to wear a head scarf or even partake in some activities that meet the disapproval of their traditions, they are still brutally punished. Worse of all is the mutilation of female genitals that is still being forced upon women in their new countries. Family caregivers and parents are requesting doctors and midwives to visit to perform these mutilations upon girls and women. Female genital mutilation, also known as , is a procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to external female organs. It can be inflicted on girls as young as 1 and varies in severity from the partial removal of the clitoris, to excising the clitoris and labia and stitching up the walls of the vulva to leave only a tiny opening.
Although outlawed in our countries these practices are happening more often than not. It’s so often that border and airport securities are being trained to look for the kits and crude implements they use to perform this outrageous practice. Those who can not be done in our countries are sent to one that allows the procedures to be performed. We are not talking about a few hundred girls we are talking more close to 100,000 plus cases a year.
For many years our governments were well aware of this mutilation practices but put little effort into implementing the laws. Now when it is becoming more prevalent to the public. They have decided to pay a little more attention to it, yet have a long way to go to catch up on failing to protect these girls and women. I understand that we can not do much for those who were inflicted before entering our countries, but there is nothing stopping us from protecting those who are born into freedom.
To all those who practice this mutilation I ask you: “Why come to our countries if you can not abide by our laws, traditions, and way of life? If you can not respect the then maybe our countries are not for you and you should return to the life you chose to leave.”
All women have the right to walk, talk, date, dress and most of all choose what we will have done to our own bodies. Report any abuse, but most of all make your voices heard to stop the practice of genital mutilation. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO!!!
Writer, Blogger, Mother