An Ethiopian man convicted in Georgia of mutilating his 2-year-old daughter’s genitals has been sent back to his home country by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE removed Khalid Adem, 41, on Monday after he served 10 years in prison. ICE officials said the case is thought to be the first criminal conviction in the United States for female genital mutilation, a widely scorned but persistent procedure the World Health Organization calls a “global concern.”
“The practice is most common in the western, eastern, and northeastern regions of Africa, in some countries (in) the Middle East and Asia, as well as among migrants from these areas,”
“The elimination of female genital mutilation/cutting has broad implications for the health and human rights of women and girls, as well as societies at large.” Adem had been convicted in 2006 in Gwinnett County, outside Atlanta, of aggravated battery and cruelty to children in the first degree, ICE said in a statement.
The immediate effects include severe pain and bleeding. The girl could go into shock when no anesthetics are used during the procedures. Female circumcision may also lead to wound infections, including gangrene and tetanus as well as blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B, HIV, and hepatitis C. Other immediate effects include inability to urinate, damage to nearby organs, including the bowel and the urethra, and injury to vulvar tissues. FGM can also cause death.
Even if the girl survives the initial trauma, she has to deal with several long-term consequences of female circumcision, such as abnormal periods, chronic pelvic infections, kidney impairment, and possible kidney failure. Some other issues include damage to the reproductive system that leads to infertility, pain during sex with no pleasurable sensation, formation of cysts and scar tissue, and flashbacks during childbirth or pregnancy. In some cases, it becomes important to perform another surgery to open the lower vagina for childbirth and sexual intercourse.
Some women also face psychological issues, including depression, low libido, and anxiety. FGM is an extremely difficult experience for girls and women and they carry the trauma throughout their lives. So many young women end up working with psychological counselors and often live with feelings of betrayal by parents. Even though FGM is illegal, many people still do it. Some parents take their children abroad for FGM, which is again illegal. If caught, the offenders have to face a large fine with jail time up to 14 years.
Why Is Female Circumcision Done?
You can find several images of female circumcision before and afterand understand the amount of pain women have to face during the procedures. The question is, “why do people opt for such gruesome procedures?” People in different societies have different reasons to practice FGM, but these ‘excuses’ fall into five main categories:
- Psychosexual Reasons: Many societies believe that FGM is a way to help women control their sexuality. Female circumcision before and afterchanges how women perceive sex and intercourse. They believe that the removal of the clitoris is the only way to control a woman’s sexuality. It is also considered a way to ensure that a woman will stay virgin before marriage.
- Sociological and Cultural Reasons: Many communities think that FGM is a way to make a young girl a part of a community, and they believe that this is a step a girl takes to become a woman. Some myths in the communities also promote this practice – some believe that if left uncut the clitoris will become as large as a penis is.
- Hygiene and Aesthetic Reasons: Some communities believe that the external female genitalia is dirty an ugly, so they use FGM for hygiene.
- Religious Reasons: Many people use religious doctrine to justify this practice, but in reality, neither Islam nor Christianity sanctions FGM.
- Socio-Economic Factors: In some communities, it is obligatory for girls to undergo FGM before they could get married. In societies where women are largely dependent on men, they have to follow the norms and go for the procedure in order to get married.
This is a Cultural Event has occurred numerous times here in the United States and is often protected by the communities that believe in such a practice. If you are aware of this practice going on in your community, please call the Pen-N-Sword at 256-324-9347 and we will get it to the proper authorities. Your identity will never be revealed.