Clitoraid deplores sharp rise in numbers of FGM victims in Somalia during pandemic and plans clitoral restoration relief

Junho 06 2020, :
June 6, 2020, Ouagadougou, West Africa - . The US based NGO, Clitoraid, offering ongoing clitoral restorative surgery to FGM survivors in North America and Africa since 2009, is now planning to train Somali surgeons during its third annual humanitarian mission in Kenya in 2021 in order to offer clitoral restoration relief to an increased number of Somali girls who have endured Female Genital Mutilation during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“We’ve seen a massive increase [of FGM cases] in recent weeks,” said Sadia Allin, Plan International’s head of mission in Somalia.

"When the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alarm about the Covid-19 epidemic, it surely didn't anticipate that the economic downturn would also affect the income of circumcisers in Somalia and elsewhere in Sub-Sahara Africa who've been knocking on doors to offer their barbaric services in order to make hands meet" deplores Abi Sanon, FGM survivor and head of Clitoraid in Africa. "Consequently, thousands of young girls who were held back in their homes have endured genital mutilation in the past 2 months".

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has warned that the pandemic could lead to an extra 2 million girls worldwide being cut in the next decade.

"Ever since its inception over a decade ago, Clitoraid has been active worldwide in its fight against FGM" says Sanon. "Dr. Marci Bowers, our volunteer chief surgeon based in San Francisco and the surgeons she's trained, have already restored the clitoris of over 600 FGM survivors over the last decade. As a result, all of us, survivors, have been made whole and dignified again." explains Sanon.

Clitoraid's hospital in Burkina Faso, West Africa is dedicated to FGM victims and offers classes on sexual health while awaiting its opening.

"We are intent on seeing this gruesome practice disappear within one generation." insists Sanon.

FGM, which affects 200 million girls and women globally, involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. In Somalia the vaginal opening is also often sewn up – a practice called infibulation.

Clitoraid's 2021 humanitarian mission will be hosted by Dr. Adan Abdullahi, Kenyan surgeon who is originally from Somalia. Clitoral restorative surgeries were scheduled this fall but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The previous two missions in Nairobi saw the clitoral restoration of a total of 120 patients.

Clitoraid: 2nd humanitarian clitoral restorative surgical mission in Kenya

Fevereiro 20 2019, :
San Francisco, CA - February 20 The U.S. based humanitarian organization, Clitoraid is launching its 2nd clitoral restorative surgical mission in Nairobi, Kenya, March 4 - 14, 2019 to help the victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) regain their dignity and sexual pleasure thanks to a technique developed by a French urologist.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25% of the Kenyan female population has endured the horrific tradition of genital cutting though the practice is now illegal in Kenya” explains Nadine Gary, Clitoraid Director of Operations.

The WHO estimates that 125 million women worldwide have had their genitals forcibly mutilated as babies or when they were toddlers or possibly as teenagers. This practice grossly violates the UNICEF Convention on the Right of the Child.

Clitoraid volunteer head-surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers of San Francisco, USA, will co-lead the clitoral restorative medical procedure in partnership with Kenyan Dr. Adan Abdullahi affiliated with the Kenyan NGO, Garana.

“They will be assisted by local Kenyan doctors as well as MD’s from the US, Canada and Australia” says Gary.

Close to 100 FGM survivors, including women from Tanzania, Sudan and The Gambia are scheduled for surgery during the two week, humanitarian endeavor that will take place at Dr. Abdullahi’s clinic in Nairobi” informs Gary.

“Since 2009, Clitoraid has provided clitoral restorative surgery (CRS) to over 500 genitally mutilated women mostly in the U.S. where more than half a million FGM survivors currently reside according the Center for Disease Control” says Gary. “We have also operated in Kenya and in Burkina Faso, West Africa where our hospital dedicated to FGM victims awaits opening”

The creation of Clitoraid was inspired by International spiritual leader, Raël, a relentless defender of human rights and women’s rights. The innate right to sexual health and fulfillment has been a core value to the Raelian philosophy for nearly half a century and is now advocated by the World Health Organization as a basic human right.

“Society must rid itself of sexual shame and guilt disseminated by archaic patriarchal religions both tribal and mainstream that are especially abusive and demeaning to women.” states Gary “ Repressing their sexuality has been a powerful ploy to control and subdue them for centuries”.

Gary concludes: “Today, with education, women are realizing that the traditions and cultures that violate their sexual integrity and their sexual freedom also violate their dignity as women”.

Clitoraid Statement on Judge's Decision in Michigan Case

Janeiro 07 2019, :
The members of Clitoraid are outraged with US District Judge Bernard Friedman’s decision to render unconstitutional the US federal law banning FGM or Cutting (FGM/C). Clitoraid, a charitable US organization inspired by International Spiritual leader Rael, has been offering clitoral restorative surgery to over 500 survivors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) since 2009.

"We demand that Judge Bernard Friedman’s decision be overturned and that the federal law ban all Genital Mutilation (GM) in children regardless of gender'" says Nadine Gary, Clitoraid Director of operations.

Children genital mutilation is a serious human rights violation and a form of child abuse. It has a life-long health and psychological consequences and must both be apprehended at the federal and state levels.

The Michigan case is significant because it uncovers two disturbing legal outcomes concerning the protection of children against genital mutilation in the US.

Firstly, FGM is being downgraded to a legislation solely regulated by individual states instead of a uniform federal protection because according to Judge Friedman FGM is a 'local criminal activity'. It is to be noted that over 500,000 FGM victims currently reside in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

"Yet, the lack of federal legislation would incite perpetrators to cross state borders and freely seek a safe haven or a lesser punishment to practice their crime. Currently, 23 US states have yet to criminalize FGM." warns Gary.

Secondly, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala who forced genital cutting on little girls in the Michigan Livonia clinic testified to only performing a "minor nick" . Her statement causes male circumcision to be legally challenged. See thorough analysis of Brian Earp, Associate Director of the Yale University program on Health and Ethics policy and Research Fellow at the university of Oxford.

Dr. Nagarwala's act violated the current Federal law title 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 116, and 371 pertaining to Female Genital Mutilation which reads: "whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both".

"So, if a 'minor nick' on girls genitals constitutes a violation which Judge Friedman characterizes as “criminal assault” but the cutting of the entire foreskin of boys' genitals is not, then the above law is in dire need of being rewritten to protect all children". points out Gary.

In the US, 81% of the male population is victim of genital cutting according to the CDC.

Concerning the Michigan case, the Clitoraid members therefore declare: Genital Mutilation is a violation of the bodily and sexual integrity of children and must be punished to the full extent of the federal law regardless of the gender of children.

See Brian Earp full analysis in favor of a law banning Genital Mutilation regardless of gender

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