There is no absolute data on how many women and girls have been maimed around the world, but the UN estimates that there are more than 200 million in the 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where this practice prevails. The figure continues to grow every year. However, «there is still hope,» as Amref Spain recalls in a statement, as more and more young people are refusing to be mutilated compared to their parents’ generations.
Amref, who works with local staff on projects against female genital mutilation in several African countries, recalls that, to end this practice, it is not only required to be punished by law – something that many nations already do – but also education and Awareness. «Being something cultural and ancestral, it is essential to eradicate it to ally with the communities that practice it,» explains this health organization of African origin and management.
Since starting work on such projects, Amref has avoided circumcision of 17,000 girls. It has achieved this through the support of local leaders and the holding of alternative rites of passage into adulthood in which the cut does not occur. «Now, elder leaders are aware of the dangers of female circumcision,» says Ethiopian teenager Kaiseyie Merin, 13, and who decided not to undergo mutilation after learning about the health risks, including bleeding or infections . «If parents still want to do genital mutilation on their daughter, she can report it to the elderly, who will talk to them and explain to them the problems that come with it and that is prohibited by law,» Merin says in Amref’s statement.