February 6, 2013
Female Circumcision Now a Growing Problem in Germany
For many of these women, urinating can take up to 30 minutes, and is very painful.
Between 130 and 150 million women are victims of genital mutilation – most of them are Africans, Deutsche Welle reports. Now, doctors, teachers and social workers in Germany report being confronted by this practice in ever growing numbers.
Jawahir Cumar, who moved to Germany with her parents from Somalia when she was a girl, witnessed, at age 20, on a visit to her grandparents’ village, the funeral of young girl who had bled to death after being “circumcised.”
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced in 29 African countries, even though it is illegal in some of them. It is usually done when girls are between the ages of four and eight – using razor blades, kitchen knives and even broken glass and tin lids. Because these tools are used more than once, it also increases the spreading of bllod-based diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
FGM alters or injures female genitalia for non-medical reasons, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). ...
An estimated 30,000 women living in Germany have been subjected to FGM and 6,000 girls are at risk, according to human rights organization Terre des Femmes.
“Mothers-in-law and grandmothers, especially, call all the time, write letters and send messages,” says Cumar. And the message is always the same, “you have to cut your daughters! Or just bring them to us and we will do it.”
She was able to prevent 17 girls from being subjected to FGM last year. But there’s still a lot of work to be done in Germany as well, says Cumar, pointing to how long it took for “honor killings” to be viewed by police as a criminal offence and not simply as the customs of immigrants.