“Female genital mutilation of any type is a harmful practice and a huge violation of human rights,” said Nadine Gary, director of communications for Clitoraid. “It has wrought excruciating pain and psychological suffering upon 140 living victims worldwide and caused the needless deaths of millions more. That’s why our organization is committed to assisting the Women’s Health Organization (WHO) in eliminating this horrific custom within a generation.”
As a step toward that goal, Clitoraid is dedicated to providing clitoral and genital repair surgery to all FGM victims who want it, according to Gary.
“In October, we’re opening a special hospital in Burkina Faso, West Africa, that will offer this surgery free of charge to FGM victims,” she said. “And thanks to our dedicated volunteer surgeons, we’re also offering it on other continents, including North America.”
In addition, Clitoraid is engaged in an active education campaign to inform the public about the grave dangers of FGM, Gary said.
“Fifteen percent of all FGM victims perish during or soon after the mutilation,” Gary said. “Three million girls are at risk of suffering that fate each year, and even if they survive, they’re sure to suffer from the aftereffects of this awful mutilation for the rest of their lives.”
Gary said Clitoraid was founded from an idea voiced by spiritual leader Maitreya Rael, who is also a fervent women’s rights and human rights advocate.
“He wants to educate the public about the importance of having women enjoying sexual pleasure without the guilt that often comes from the distorted teachings of primitive religions,” Gary said. “Eliminating guilt from sexual pleasure is essential to female balance and self-esteem.”
She said her organization is also monitoring a new and troubling trend.
“It’s appalling that health-care providers are increasingly being used in some countries to perform FGM,” Gary said. “That means some of those who could be fighting this practice are instead helping to legitimize and perpetuate it. One example is Indonesia. The World Health Organization is currently focused on this issue there, and our organization has voiced deep concern to the Indonesian Health Ministry. We have also trained a surgeon in the Philippines who is ready to perform clitoral repair surgery on Indonesian victims.”