Wluml dossier 3 June/July 1988 Sexual Mutilations

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6. Maternal Death

The tears through the major blood vessels can lead to sudden death during delivery. Subsequent infection as detailed above can easily lead to death.

7. Lack of Sexual Enjoyment

This comes about because of painful sexual penetration and excision of the clitoris or the labia which form the most sensitive erectile tissue of the female genital organs. Modern circumcision limits itself to the excision of the top of the clitoris without any interference with the labia majora or minora. This is also a very painful operation as the clitoris has a very good supply of blood vessels. Many girls have died because of this blood loss, especially when they may be suffering form blood clotting mechanisms problems.

All in all, female circumcision is an operation that should be condemned without mincing words because it is unnecessary and cruel. There are many traditional practices that our communities have abandoned for the development and betterment of their individual and community welfare. This is one that has lagged behind for too long, and one where effort should be made to discourage it. It is one of the ways in which women are subjected to torture for no other reason than that they are female. It is a cruel operation.
The President, His Excellency Daniel Tereitich Arap Moi, has favoured abondonment of this cruel practice. It is important that health workers, religious leaders, politicians, social workers, teachers, in actual fact, everybody in the Republic who has an interest in women's development at heart, should fully support the President's stand by providing relevant education, especially to those communities that perpetuate female circumcision.
Those who publish the vernacular newspapers, those who preach from the pulpit and from the Mosque, those who play political roles should educate our people in these matters. We can find better ways of initiating our youth into adulthood. Family life, education and responsible parenthood advocated by various organizations in this country are some of the ways of doing so because they aim at preparing our youth for their adulthood status and roles.
In the final analysis we should ask ourselves what we can do to eradicate the circumcision and we know that this will not happen overnight.
a. What would be the substitute for youth ?
b. Should we have Family Life Education?
c. Adult education programs including learning how to read and write and the integration of health education with the campaign to eradicate female circumcision.
d. Health Education through maternal and child health.
e. Family Planning Programmes.

We know the problems exist. What do we do? To try to look for substitutes. For example: a prick in any part of the body. And this will be accomplished by the year 2000, to integrate the tradition of becoming an adult into the culture, without resorting to circumcision.

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