Female genital mutilation reflects one of the grosses discrimination and cruelty against women and girls. In last night’s episode of Half the Sky, Diane Lane and Nicholas Kristof visited Somaliland where over 140 million girls are subjected to female mutilation/cutting mostly because of a relentless need to stick with tradition. The women themselves perpetuate this “tradition” on their girls–one woman they interviewed performed from 10 to 12 cuttings a day. On 7 to 9 year old girls.
In Somaliland, there is one woman who gave up everything she had to start a maternity hospital and midwife education center. Her name is Edna Adan. She’s delivering babies. She’s teaching over 1,000 women to become midwives. She’s educating women about female genital cutting. She’s explaining to women that this perpetuation of a violent mutilation to genitals creates obstructed pregnancies. Scarring from the cutting doesn’t allow the skin to stretch–therefore babies can’t come out.
On a daily basis Edna, a self-professed “crazy lady who lives in the desert,” saves women’s lives.
Ways to help, to volunteer, to learn more–click here.
(Image credit: Joshua Bennett/abcnews.com)