A Winning Shot Fired In Real War On Women ➠ History Is Being Made!
When you hear the words “war on women,” it can bring much different images to mind depending on which side of the political aisle you tend to reside. However, I think both sides can agree that some crimes against humanity are most definitely an undebatable war on women that can’t be denied. Luckily, a winning shot was just fired in one such war, and history is being made.
This isn’t about abortions or birth control. It’s about an inhumane, barbaric procedure that has continued to be practiced in the world in modern times. This is about female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C). The practice involves either totally or partially “removing the external female genitalia or causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical purposes,” A Plus explains.
FGM is often practiced by communities “to reduce sexual desire in women and to initiate girls to womanhood,” according to a UNICEF report. The World Health Organization explains the potential dangers of FGM, which include “hemorrhage (bleeding), bacterial infection, open sores, and long-term consequences that include infertility, childbirth complications and recurring bladder infections.”
As an unnecessary, harmful procedure, many across the world have called for it to stop. Yet, it continued. According to UNICEF, “More than 130 million girls and women have experienced FGM/C in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is most common.” But that’s all about to change with a history changing law.
Under the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, passed by the Senate in May and recently enacted into law, Nigeria has finally outlawed female genital mutilation thanks to one last act by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan.
While teenage girls in Nigeria today were one-third less likely to undergo FGM/C than they were 30 years ago —because of the help from community activism, campaigns, and numbers of organizational efforts to end this practice — a quarter of the women in Nigeria had still undergone FGM according to The Guardian‘s analysis of 2014 UN data.
However, with the new law criminalizing this procedure, it is hoped that the practice will be completely eliminated for good. The law is a step in the right direction, but unfortunately, there will be complexity in implementing the ban, as explained by Stella Mukasa, director of Gender, Violence and Rights at the International Center for Research on Women. More