When you find a gold,do not lose it.Herein is a struggle that worth fighting for,until victory is certain at last.
Being a Speech by my very good friend and confidant Elsie Ijorogu Reed @ The celebration of the ban on female genital mutilation on june 15th 2012 @ Dublin Ireland
The mayor of Dublin (Andrew Montague) host of this gracious occasion, Minister Costello, Emma Costello MEP, Ifrah Ahmed the great and wonderful lady whose Constance and strength has given us a reason to celebrate today, distinguish guests present. the press corp.
As a woman and CEO of Deltawomen (NGO), I am honored and proud to associate myself with this great event and achievement.
From left-Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague ,Mr Joe Costello, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Trade and Development Emma Costello MEP, Elsie Ijorogu Reed Delta Women CEO Ifrah Ahmed, FGM Campaigner, Macin Jezewsk Event Manager
Female genital mutilation also known as female genital cutting or circumcision is defined by the world health organization “as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons” which is typically carried out on girls from neonatal stage to puberty.
A little girl being prepared for Infibulation
To the thousands of victims, female genital mutilation is an inhuman act done with lack of informed consent with no consideration for the health risks such as vaginal infection, chronic pain, fatal hemorrhaging, and EVEN DEATH. It rips a woman’s dignity off of her, creating lack of trust, fear and disappointment in loved ones. Bitterness, physical and psychological pains can leave women walking through life with an unnoticed shame and a bleeding heart.
The pains and anguish of Circumcision
I know a young girl who was excited to spend the holiday with her grandmother; she had a lovely vision of how it would be spent eating delicious fish crafted with her grandmother’s culinary abilities and how she would wear her new denim jeans. One evening, her grandmother asked her to come with her to a party. A perfect time to wear my jeans she thought. So she got dressed for a party whose guests were frowning people, dirty stools, huge men and screaming bloodied girls; oh yes she realized just then what the party was and her heart was filled with pains of betrayal. Her dignity was about to be ripped from her without her consent. The excruciating pain between her legs was a clear indication that it was not a party after all by a circumcision rite of girls in her native village. According to a comedian I know, this young victim immediately became a phone without a sim card, and an impeached Mayor who had a name but no office.
A girl being prepared for FGM
Yes, I said I know a young girl because that girl was me and I stand before you to speak today about my experiences, so freely, because I have learnt that “silence is a killer”. Women should learn to speak out. The reasoning proceeding from women should be louder than it is at the moment regarding female genital mutilation so that the awareness of this bastardly act against women is brought to the fore and providing the much needed support for victims.
Circumcision in adult female with the removal of the libia.
This barbaric act however, has been practiced for decades by some communities across the globes who believe it reduces a woman’s libido but what it actually reduces are woman’s self-esteem, dignity, emotional satisfaction and belief in humanity. It is simply removing the icing on the cake.
Deltawomen is aware of some cultural and political aspects to the practice’s continuation that make opposition to it a complex issue. International research has also shown the enormous dangers to the health of women and girls represented by the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation. As Human right activist, we can only do but a little without assistance, we would like to use this opportunity to call on the international community and people of a progressive mind to support us as we continue our campaign and awareness on this horror against women in and around the globe.
Circumcision in a baby
In the mist of all the laughter and the jubilation by all of us present here, let us bear in mind the reason why we are here today; we are here because of a deserved victory over FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION in Ireland. I want to wholeheartedly commend the Irish government and the people for embracing a long awaited change that has brought hope to many of our women and ensuring that their dignity and self-worth are preserved. Please join Deltawomen and women across the globe as we applaud this victory against this weight that has weighed down our women for generation.
Common FGM Instruments
Without diminishing the achievement made in Ireland over the issue of Female Genital Mutilation I would like to say this is just a small victory compared to the magnitude of the very real situation staring us in the face. We cannot afford to rest on oars until every female in areas where this evil is practiced breathe the air of freedom as we have today in Ireland.
ELSIE IJOROGU REED is a consummate and passionate C.E.O of DELTAWOMEN (NGO),an NGo that has been putting smiles on the faces of many indigent,battered and bruised girls and women in her native land.