It is often easy to forget that in places all over the globe, life is vastly different from our own. In many cases, we find ourselves generally free to live our life the way we choose. In contrast, there are many places around the globe where that is not the case. One of those places is the Maasai community in Kenya. Women in this community are forced to place their bodies up for a non-medical surgery that poses major health risks. Female genital mutilation (short, FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision is the ritual of cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Typically carried out by a traditional circumciser using a blade, FGM is performed from few days after birth to puberty and beyond. In half the countries for which national figures are available, most girls are cut before the age of five. Procedures such as this can cause severe bleeding, problems urinating, cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths. Devastatingly, in this society, female genital mutilation is a daily occurrence. In recent statistics, at least 200 million girls and women have undergone ritual cutting, 50% of them living in three particular countries: Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Aside from the physical damage, FGM causes great emotional and mental stress. They are forced to continue on with their life with no time to discuss the situation they were in or to let themselves grieve. It is a detrimental procedure that carries no weight. FGM is recognized internationally, as a violation of human rights towards girls and women. It is just another representation of inequality between genders and an outright discrimination against women. Being mostly carried out on minors, the procedure also represents a violation of children’s rights.
With this knowledge and determination to help spread awareness on this topic, Women Like Us Foundation is set on making an impact. In partnership with Pastoralist Child Foundation, we are setting out to Kenya to increase awareness of the dangers of FGM through workshops. Not only do they speak about FGM but other issues such as child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS. The more these young women know, the better they can help themselves and serve their community and generations to come. The intention of these workshops are to eradicate FGM through better education on the matter - about the history, myths and harmful effects of FGM!
Our urgent mission right now is to raise $10,000 within the next month so that we are ready and able to provide more help to 60 boys, girls and adults in Narok area of Kenya where one Masai community is waiting to be educated! We ask that you consider donating and sharing the word of our campaign. Any and all amounts of time, money, and effort are greatly appreciated.