Etiopialaiset naimattomat miehet ovat tottuneet vaatimaan itselleen ympärileikatun vaimon. Sellaisen luullaan olevan monin tavoin parempi kuin leikkaamaton. Tämä on yksi vahva syy, miksi tyttöjä ympärileikataan. Nyt Tesfaye on ryhtynyt valistamaan naimattomia miehiä siitä, kuinka heidän avioliittonsa ja erityisesti seksielämä tulee olemaan paljon parempaa kun he ottavat itselleen ympärileikkaamattoman vaimon. Opetuksen jälkeen naimattomat miehet päättivät:
"Kun lähdemme tämän opetuksen jälkeen kotiin, opetamme kaikille kyläläisille ympärileikkauksen haitoista. Haluamme vaimoksemme ympärileikkaamattoman naisen, sillä emme halua kärsiä hänen vaikeuksistaan aviovuoteessa ja perhe-elämässä."
|Tesfaye (vas) sekä upeita nuoria miehiä, jotka innoissaan vievät sanaa eteenpäin.|
Ympärileikkaus on kuin keisarin uudet vaatteet: vasta kun joku sanoo ääneen kuinka haitallista se on, ihmiset itsekin tajuavat, että se todella pitää paikkansa. Monet, tytöt itsekin, uskovat ympärileikkauksen olevan hieno ja hyvä juttu eivätkä ole ymmärtäneet kyseenalaistaa koko asiaa. Ympärileikkausten haitoista on vaiettu niin, että jokainen siitä kärsivä on saattanut luulla olevansa ainoa, joka siitä kärsii. Myöskin seksi on niin vahva tabu, etteivät edes avioparit keskustele siitä keskenään. Miehet eivät välttämättä siksi ole tulleet edes ajatelleeksi, että naisen kärsimys seksin aikana olisi jotenkin epäluonnollista tai vältettävissä.
Näin puolestaan totesivat naimattomat tytöt Bezuneshin ja Tesfayen opetuksen jälkeen:
"Olemme niin pahoillamme, että olemme menettäneet tämän tärkeän osan kehostamme. Jumala auttakoon meitä kun menemme naimisiin ja synnytämme. Aiomme opettaa kaikille ympärileikkaamattomille tytöille kuinka huono asia tämä on, jotta voimme säästää heidät ympärileikkaukselta!"
Tesfaye antoi molemmille ryhmille (miehille ja naisille) vielä tärkeän loppukommentin: "Vaimoni tärkeän kehon osan menetys on minulle itsellenikin suuri menetys ja me molemmat kärsimme siitä seksin aikana. Vaimoni on myös synnyttänyt kaksi lasta valtavien kärsimyksien alla. Hän ei ole edelleenkään täysin parantunut synnytyksistä. Te molemmat, miehet ja naiset, älkää tuhotko ruumistanne, koska se on luotu tärkeää tarkoitusta varten! "
|Kolmenkymmenen eri kirkon edustajat.|
Bezunesh ja Tesfaye opettivat Funto Lamachin raamattukoulussa opiskelijoita yli kolmestakymmenestä eri seurakunnasta kahden päivän ajan. Kaikki opiskelijat päättivät ottaa ympärileikkauksen haitat opetusaiheeksi omassa kirkossaan. Alla raportti kokonaisuudessaan. Välillä todella tiukkaa tekstiä, eikä kaikki kohdat ehkä sovi herkimmille:
The 4th work report to our partners in Finland
Topic: Historical background of FGM and its harmful effects
Sub-topics:- Definition of FGM, Historical origin of FGM, The Types of FGM, The Process of FGM, The procedure of FGM, Determinants of FGM, and The Harmful Effects of FGM.
This the 4th work report is focused on the Historical background of FGM and its harmful effects. We teached students in Funto lamach bible school from more than 30 different evangelical churches. We taught them for two days. Our learners included both married and unmarried, but mostly unmarried. They decided after our training to teach in each church about the harmful practice of FGM. Especially the married men and women decided to stop the bad practice from their children.
For instance, ours teaching looks like as follows:
Definition of FGM
The human race health organization (WHO) defines FGM as “all producers involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, whether for culture or other non-therapeutic reasons.” It is considered as part of a group of traditional practice of female sex organ. Its literal meaning is “to cut off an important part of human genital organ involving the whole part of the external genital organ of female.” It is one of widely practiced traditions that have been damaging on the health of women and young girls in Ethiopia and other countries as well as in Kambata people. It is a deeprooted practice.
For Muslims, circumcision is an outward symbol of the religious process, which brings oneself under the discipline of God’s requirement. According to their understanding circumcision reflects the inner growth of reason and submission of basic passions to the higher spiritual requirements of true Islam.
Historical origin of FGM
Different writers have different suggestion about the origin of FGM. According to Sandy Willcox FGM was practiced in Egypt before 2500 B.C. Also pre-Islamic Arabia and ancient Rome are concerned countries. Gachiri signifies that it has been practiced thousands of years and it was originated in Egypt and Ethiopia, but this is merely assumption without concrete evidence. A Greek papyrus from 163 B.C. mentions girls in Egypt were undergoing circumcisions and it is widely accepted to have originated in Egypt and the Nile valley at the time of pharaohs.
Many people try to link the origin of FGM with Islam. However, the significance of the earliest records of the practice of FGM had begun thousands of years in Egypt before the beginning of Islam. Considering FGM as an Islamic religion obligation is not the right attitude, because FGM was carried out long before Islamic religion started. Also Koran does not prescribe the performance of FGM.
The Types of FGM
The world health organization classified FGM into four major types:
Type one is Clitoridectomy. It is the removal of the clitoris with excising part or the entire clitoris. In Ethiopia this practice is common between the Amharic and Tigrigna speaking Muslims. It is considered as the simplest type. It requires a great skill, good light, surgical tools and an anesthetized, motionless body, quite aside from a thorough knowledge of anatomy.
Type Two is Excision. It is removal of the clitoris together with partial or total excision of the labia minora with or without the labia minor. In Ethiopia tribes who commonly practice it are Gurage, Tigire, the Gondor’s Amara, Oromo, Shinashe, Kunama and Kambata.
Type Three is Infibulations. It is stitching of the opening of vagina by creating a seal covering which is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner and sometimes outer labia with or without removal of the clitoris. In this type of FGM a small hole is leaving for urine. The tribes Harare, Somali, Mensal, Saho, Afar and some Oromo in Hararge practice it.
Type four is other or Unclassified. This is a collective form of FGM. It has diverse range of practice like priking the clitoris with needles, burning or scarring the genitals, and ripping or tearing of the vagina. Primarily this type is found among isolated ethnic groups as well as in combination with other types. It is not practiced in Ethiopia but for example in Pitta-Pattain Australia and Rwanda.
Variations of the types of FGM show the irreversibility of the practice throughout the world. However, in Ethiopia about 90% of women are believed to undergo one of the above three forms of mutilation except type four of FGM.
The Process of FGM
The procedure varies, depending on the FGM types girls age, and circumciser’s experience. In Ethiopia, the process of mutilation is performed under unhygienic condition by traditional practitioners, mainly old women and men. They use a sharp instrument like a razor blade or knife. Some of the cutters are traditional birth attendants. They use it as a means of income generating. Majority of them are uneducated village women and village midwives. In some culture circumcisers are ordained by a group of elders. In Agikuyu of Kenya a child is believed and said to have an inner calling to be a traditional doctor. Others perform it as inheritance from their mother or father.
The circumcisers use some local medicines to heal the wound. Some of them apply antibiotics in ointment form and in powder form after they excise girls body. In Agikuyu of Kenya the less modern circumcisers pour milk and iodine onto the fresh wound. The traditional ones use red powder made from alloy leaves after they are dried and crushed. They smear folded leaves with castor oil. These leaves are placed in the center of the wound to separate the two sides and to keep them from joining together during the healing process. In Ethiopia the circumcisers are recognized as gifted with the ability of circumcision from the nature. In some areas it is assumed that cutters are possessed by evil spirits. The medicines which circumcises use in the procedure has its own health affection.
The procedure of FGM
Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 and occasionally on adult women. It is different from culture to culture. In Ethiopia the age of the procedure is different from place to place and family to family. But girls and boys are circumcised before marriage. The economic background of the family plays a great a great role for early circumcision or late circumcision.
Determinants of FGM
The reasons for doing FGM are as varied as the rituals that go with the custom, including a mix of traditional, socio- cultural, and religious factors. Where FGM is a social conviction, the social pressure to conform to what others do and been doing is a strong motivation to perpetuate the practice. It is often considered as a way to prepare adulthood and marriage. The most common reasons to practice FGM are to reduce wife’s sexual desires in order to indemnify her faithfulness to her husband in their marriage relation, to prevent problems of labor and delivery, to conform traditional requirements, peer pressure, fear of stigmatization, for cleanness and beautifulness after the removal of the clitoris. Most of these beliefs do not stand up in the face of current knowledge and realities. The traditionalists excise women because their forefathers and ancestors did it.
In addition to the above mentioned points socio-cultural factors include the excising of power and control over women and it is honor for the family or clan of the circumcised girls. The procedure brings prestige to families, ensures that the girls can marry certain people and that they will not be able to marry into groups that do not excise. It is sometimes an education into a secret society. It initiates to join the group in order to obtain social support of the group. These societies also often have considerable influence over the entire cultural group of which they form a part. According to the declaration of WHO of 1996 in some society, recent adoption of the practice is linked to copying the traditions of the neighboring groups.
The Harmful Effects of FGM
Depending on the types of the procedure of FGM all or most of female sexual organ’s external parts are removed in the process of mutilation. As a result it causes immediate and long term health complications on the health of the circumcised female. The immediate complications could happen within ten days of the operation. Its severity depends on the expertise of the operator and the environment where the operation takes place. Some of them are severing pain and shock hemorrhage and urine retention infection injury to neighboring organs.
The long term consequences include urinary and reproductive tract infection, caused by obstructed flow of urine and menstrual blood, various forms of scarring and infertility. The first episode of sexual intercourse will often be extremely painful for excised women in needing to open the labia majora and to allow their partner access to the vagina. It may cause the second cut sometimes performed by the partner with a knife and can cause other complications. As a result the vulva lacks its function. Many women are suffering from this traditional practice of FGM and they lost their life when they give birth.
"Our lovely learners, as you heard from the word of God there is no any evidence to exercise this practice on the lives of women. So, as unmarried male what is your attitude about this when you start to get married? Also, you unmarried girl what do you think about this practice? What is your intention to stop this practice from our community? As you heard now the truth of God’s word and through its historical back ground FGM is dangerous and it killed many women."
The response of unmarried male group was: "We will after today teach our community about this harmful traditional practice of FGM and we wish to marry uncircumcised women because we dont want to suffer from her pain in our marriage life. As we heard from the word of Lord there is no biblical teaching about it, so Genesis said about male circumcision for Israelites but not all the world male people. Through this text we can’t create teaching about FGM for women as supportive text to practice FGM on the lives of women in our society."
Unmarried girls said: "We are very sorry because we have lost an important part of the body from ourselves, which was created through God within purpose. If we get married we will suffer because of this harmful traditional practice. May God help us when we get married and when we give birth. But we start to teach the uncircumcised girls to save them from this kind of dangerous practice. Please, you our teachers continue your teaching among our community!"
So, we promised to teach them continuously every time they want to learn about it.
At conclusion, Tesfaye said the last words: "Both of you, do not destroy your body which was created within purpose. I lost this important part of the body from my wife and I am suffering from it during sex time. Also she has been giving birth two times with strong suffering. Still now she hasn’t healed from birth givings. You can learn more from her when you ask her personally. We are responsibile of our body that was given to us from God the creator."
Pleas help us as usually by supportive comments to continue our work. We wish all best for you who read this work report. May God bless you.