FGM in the Sudan

Female genital mutilation is a major global health problem that has been practiced since Pharaonic times that is commonly practiced in Egypt and Sudan. It has more recently gotten attention in the past few years. In Sudan it is part of the culture for women to be circumcised when they come of age. It is seen as a tradition into becoming an adult.  There used to be  several ceremonial practices that were done to “qualify” a girl into womanhood, such as feasting and blessings. These practices would not cause harm to the women and activist against FGM want to implement these back into the culture instead of female circumcision. FGM can be performed three different ways from somewhat sever to extreme. The most extreme is to remove all external genitalia from the woman, leaving only necessary openings for bodily functions.  For years now there have been campaigns on outlawing  this practice . The issue is that groups that are trying to outlaw it do not want to upset the culture.  Saleema was created, which translates to complete symbolizing girls should remain complete the way they were born. There slogan is ” Let every girl born Saleema grow Saleema”.   This groups campaign has been criticized for not being bold enough about what is really happening. With very little government action ever taken, the one law against FGM outlawed the sever type of circumcision, but allowed others. This law was taken away in 1983 and no new effective  laws against FGM have been enforced since.  An article by Eunice Kaelo describes both sides of the spectrum. Growing up in this culture she tells her Mom’s view on FGM and her own modern view. Her mother believes that women in their culture have to deal with much more difficult things than FGM such as the workload when moving and building a new house. While Eunice thinks female circumcision should be abolished because it is painful and unhygienic causing health issues. She is now in the medical field and plans on using her back round as a daughter to a Maasai to teach the  people about the harm FGM causes. She feels that the people will listen to her better than a stranger who has not experienced their culture.


Abbas, Reem. “Genital Mutilation.” Sudan’s Anti-FGM Campaign Avoids Using the Term. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2014.


Kaeol, Eunice S. “FGM: Maasai Women Speak Out.” Proquest. N.p., 01 July 2005. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.


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