Why sometimes girls go voluntarily for FGM/C?

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Socialization is a great factor when it comes to FGM. When a child is born in a community where FGM ceremonies are conducted frequently she grows up knowing FGM is right.  I recently met a nursery school teacher who informed me that children were carrying out mock FGM ceremonies during their play time. This got me thinking? Imitation is one of the ways by which children learn. Through experiences at the community level these children are simply imitating what they have seen. To them it is fun and in most cases they join in the dance during the ceremonies.

Assuming this child grows up without getting informed by anyone on the dangers of FGM or having any contact with people from other communities she will eventually volunteer herself for FGM when the time comes. This does not mean that she will not suffer the consequences of FGM. The only difference is there is no psychological effect of being coerced since in her case it’s voluntary. But all the other risks of FGM remain.

Constant community dialogues and sensitisation are required to change the attitude of community members especially from marginalised areas where they have limited access to information. Once the attitude of the community is changed, eventually the attitude of their children is going to be changed and socialisation will be different.

Tony Mwebia

Tony Mwebia

Gender Equality Advocate, Writer, Activist & Consultant

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