The fight against silencing

The fight against silencing

Fadumo korn experienced it himself. At the age of seven, the somali-born girl, who now lives in munich, is circumcised by an old woman with a razor blade and then stitched up. "I got very sube milk the night before. Today I think it was a consolation for what was to come", she reports at the information evening about female genital circumcision in the erlangen district office, to which the working group female genital circumcision of the district erlangen-hochstadt and the city erlangen had invited.

What came next: pain, coma for days, secondary infections. "Female circumcision is the worst physical and psychological injury there is", says korn. Years later, it’s still very difficult to accept your body the way it is," said shorthorns coach. "Jumping or even cycling is not possible, it hurts too much", says the author about the 4000 to 5000 year old ritual that originated in egypt.

Even today, girls still love to go through this ritual in the belief that otherwise they would not be able to get a husband and survive. This view is passed down from mother to daughter, she says, along with the call to honor one’s parents.

Association helps girls

Education and awareness are the key to fadumo korn’s fight against female circumcision. Your association against female circumcision "nala – education instead of circumcision" maintain on a private donation basis, for example, a training center for adult education in burkina faso and help there with water supply and garden cultivation. In munich, the association for unaccompanied minors is committed to refugees. The members accompany girls to doctor’s appointments, take care of them and support them in getting an education.

By telling her story, fadumo korn wants people to talk about female circumcision without being shy. "Never before have so many women from africa and even a somali man attended my lecture. You have invited the right people. Take your chance, invite them and ask them what they like", ask your audience.

Parallel to the number of refugees, interest in this topic has also increased again in franconia. In 2018, the working group for female circumcision was founded in the county and city of erlangen. So many people wanted to listen to the information evening that the organizers cornelia schmidt and andreas mittelmeier from the education offices of the district and the city had to add more chairs.

Surgery often ends fatally

According to the world health organization (WHO), 200 million girls and women worldwide are affected by female genital mutilation. According to a 2017 study by the federal ministry of family affairs, there are almost 50,000 refugees in germany alone.

"Around ten percent die during the operation. Another ten to 15 percent die from secondary infections caused by non-sterile glass shards or razor blades", emphasizes erlangen gynecologist peter kellermann. Medical science differentiates between four types of circumcision. Type 3, in which both the labia and the clitoris are missing, is the best known.

"The topic is not an easy way to start your evening off. For the girls, it is also not an easy entry into adult life. It is our task to draw even more attention to this pressing issue. So I very much welcome the activities of the task force.", underlined erlangen’s third mayor elisabeth preub (FDP). Deputy district administrator gabriele klaubner (CSU) was also angered by kellermann’s and korn’s descriptions: "this practice is a violation of human rights. We need more courage to talk about it", she demanded. According to fadumo korn, in addition to courage, education and awareness, something else is needed to combat female circumcision: a lot of patience. Hro

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