On Monday,I decided to pay my friend Sade a visit. Sade is a beautiful
hard working wife and mother and she had just had a baby girl for the
first time in four deliveries. I got to her house, gift in hand and met
the door ajar. I wondered,”How could Sade have left the door open in
this time of thieves and kidnappers?”.
Out of curiosity, I peeked in on to hear yelling from the bedroom area.
My friend’s shrill voice screamed,”Mi o ni gba!!!I will not take it!!!Your mother was not in
the labor room when I gave birth to my baby!!!She wants to bring
someone to circumcise my daughter while I am still alive!!!It’s not
possible!!!”. I shouted my greetings so Sade and her husband would know I
was around. Embarrassed, they offered me a drink and some chin-chin. I
could not watch a fire burning and say nothing. As a trained nurse I
educated Sade’s husband on the consequences of female circumcision on
Female circumcision or female genital mutilation is more common in our
African society as a whole. It is defined as the ritual cutting of part of or all the female
external genitalia.It is usually performed by a traditional birth
attendant or circumciser with or without anaesthesia after the birth
of a female child or at puberty as a preparation for marriage.There
are four methods used and they include:
1. Type 1: The removal of the clitoris and the tissue around it.It is very rare.
2.Type 2: The removal of the clitoris and the vulva,as well as the labia minora.
3.Type 3: The narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a
covering seal.The seal is usually created by cutting and repositioning
the labia minora or labia majora. In most cases it involves stitching.
4.Type 4: This includes all harmful processes such as
cauterizing, pricking,piercing and scraping the vagina.
I would like you to know that female circumcision has no medical
value.It is done with the mindset that it helps reduce promiscuity in
the girl child.Many tribes see it as a thing of pride and a way of
preparing their daughters for marriage.However,there is an inherent
danger;most of the traditional circumcisers use unsterilized blades
for the circumcision.This could lead to the spread of infectious
diseases and this could be dangerous during childbirth.
The obvious consequences of female genital mutilation to the girl child are:
1. Short term complications:Swelling,bleeding,pain,urine retention and
2. Long term complications:urinary tract infections, difficult
labor, bacterial vaginal infection,pain during sexual intercourse,scar
or keloid tissue,depression,post traumatic stress syndrome,e.t.c
It is vital to have all the necessary information before making a
I left Sade’s house with the conviction that I had convinced
the family that female genital mutilation is detrimental to the health
of the girl child.You may be a mother trying to decide if or not to
circumcise your daughter.You may be a young girl about to be
circumcised.Decide that you will not take it.Female genital mutilation
Written by: Gimbiya Galadima