Truly Bad Films

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Obsteric Problems in Nigeria Caused by FGM

The New York Times reports today that fistulas - urethral or bowel tears in women caused by childbirth - are rampant in Africa. The thing that shocks me is that NOWHERE in the article does Sharon LaFraniere mention that this problem is caused by FGM or Female Genital Mutilation!
She says, this "obstetric nightmare of fistulas, [has been] unknown in the West for nearly a century. Mostly teenagers who tried to deliver their first child at home, the girls failed at labor. Their babies were lodged in their narrow birth canals, and the resulting pressure cut off blood to vital tissues and ripped holes in their bowels or urethras, or both."

Why, Sharon, are the birth canals so narrow!? It is irresponsible for you to paint over the cause with so many bland words, when the fact is that women are sewn shut in Nigeria and many other African countries.
Sewing the vagina shut tends to make for a "narrow birth canal," it turns out. This dispicable practice pre-dates Islam, but is carried on as a "Muslim" tradition in many regions of the continent.

FGM has nothing to redeem it on any level. It is a cruel, filthy, sick abomination that is done to reassure men that their women are sexually "pure" and to produce enhanced sexual arousal for men.

African men are killing Africa. They refuse to wear condoms but insist on having as many sex partners as they please. And they allow or demand that their women's genitals are sliced off and the labia sewn shut in septic conditions. HIV cases are astronomical and the women who survive FGM are ruined for safe childbirth.

LaFraniere quotes the doctor doing fistula repair in the article linked above. He said, "To be a woman in Africa is truly a terrible thing."

For African women, life is man-made hell.


At 8:54 PM, Blogger One By One said...

with all the frenzy around the NY Times piece i am just getting around to the blogs...and I am so glad to see so many with fistula information!

I am the co-founder of a volunteer initiative, One By One, that is raising awareness and funds for the UN Population Fund's Campaign to End Fistula. As the article points out, $300 is all it costs to bring a woman suffering from this tragic and debilitating condition back to life. One By One uses a giving circle model, where one leader gives $30 and then asks nine friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers to do the same. Together the circle raises $300 - enough money to cover the care for one woman with fistula.

Since our launch in April we have raised over $20,000, enough money to care for 65 women with fistula.

You can learn more about fistula and One By One at


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