Target: Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa
Goal: Put an end to female genitalia mutilations
Heavily concentrated in African countries, female genital mutilation (FGM) is an operation which alters the physical appearance and function of a woman’s vagina. Different forms include cutting off exterior parts of the vagina and sewing the vagina closed, to later be opened for sexual intercourse and childbirth. FGM is not performed for health reasons nor is it necessary by any means. FGM must be stopped and its beneficial myth must be debunked.
The FGM operation is accompanied with many extremely painful side effects. Excessive bleeding, shock, bacterial infection, damage to genital tissue and the appearance of open sores are all among immediate complications. Long term complications are no less forgiving and include incessant infection of the urinary tract and vaginal area. The complications that may arise from FGM are not worth the operation; what is worse, often times the victimized women are not of age to decide for themselves whether or not to receive the operation.
The target age range for the FGM operation is anywhere from infancy to 15 years of age. In Africa alone, more than three million girls are forced to have the operation annually. More than 125 million women alive right now have been forced to undergo this surgery, often under the assumption that the operation would make them more appealing to men and more pure in nature. A large majority of individuals who believe in the imaginary benefits of the operation assume that female genitalia are “masculine,” dirty in their existence and unfit for a proper, clean woman.
There are too many women alive who have been forced to undergo this operation. There are too many young women who are destined for this operation, living in a culture which believes in the operations cleansing capabilities. FGM’s must be put to an end in Africa. Women should never be forced to undergo this mutilation.
Dear President Zuma,
I am writing to you on behalf of the three million girls who will be forced to undergo female genital mutilation within the next year. The operation is extremely dangerous, often followed by a slew of medical complications that could last a lifetime. Female genital mutilation is an operation concentrated in Africa; it is because of this fact that I write to you in hopes that you will have an impact on the operations’ discontinuation.
Many people involved in the pro-female genital mutilation movement are driven by the belief that this operation cleanses women, allowing them to become more feminine and in turn more prepared for intercourse with their future husbands. This belief is largely off-base and quite absurd. The only accomplishment that female genital mutilation may lay claim to is the medical complications it brings forth.
Please understand the grotesque nature of this operation and become a beacon of hope for the millions of women who live with its consequences every day. Female genital mutilation is dangerous in nature and completely irrelevant to how “feminine” a woman is. I urge you to initiate a change by your rule and protect women from this injustice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Anna Langova via Wikimedia Commons