Female Genital Mutilation is a huge Issue

When Pion was 10 years old, her grandmother said it was time for her to get married and become a “real” woman. Pion was terrified; she knew what that meant – having her genitalia cut, a practice called female genital mutilation (FGM). In the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania where she lives, she had seen many girls cut and forced to marry. Her older sister was cut when she was 10 and made to marry a much older man a month later. Pion didn’t want to be cut or get married so fast, and was determined to stay in school. Despite pressure from her family, she sought help from a teacher who contacted a local organization to help. Their intervention protected Pion from FGM and child marriage. FGM involves the partial or complete removal of female genitalia without medical cause. It disrupts the normal functioning of a woman’s body with no health benefits. Human Rights Watch has documented FGM in Tanzania, Egypt, and Iraqi Kurdistan, where women and girls described their fear before being cut and the terrible toll on their health, including excessive bleeding, shock, infection, complications during childbirth, infertility, and other long-term gynecological issues. February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, when governments are asked to commit to ending FGM. What can be done to help these poor children? How would you feel in their situation?

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