Article in Het Nederlands Dagblad
The 17th of December 2020, an article was published in ‘Het Nederlands Dagblad’ (the Dutch Daily News) on the expected increase of girls being cut in Tanzania and Kenya during the Christmas holidays. The day before the article was published, I was interviewed by Annegina Randewijk, a journalist who was very interested in Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).
She came across a press release of the Dutch organization Terre des Hommes that indicated that FGM/C is on the rise in East Africa due to COVID-19. She interviewed Jos van Voogd and also came across my Powerpoint Presentation of the online training I gave for Pharos a month ago entitled ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on ending FGM/C.’ She asked me several questions about the historical origin of the practice, why it is practiced and why there is an increased risk at the moment due to COVID-19.
I explained that FGM/C is a practice predating Christianity or Islam and how deeply rooted it is in culture and tradition, hence making it extremely difficult to eradicate. I also elaborated upon the harsh stigmatization uncut girls often experience, for example people will not eat food an uncut girl prepared, and how this practically forces parents to have their daughters undergo FGM/C, even if they do not want to do this themselves. Finally, I explained that one of the main reasons for FGM/C is to control female sexuality: the only function of the clitoris is sexual pleasure. By damaging the clitoris, this is likely to be severely impacted.
You can read the full article here (in Dutch):