Sometimes it takes a tragic event to inspire someone to ensure no one else faces similar pain as him/her. These people are the heroes and heroines of society. The people who encourage members of society that just because they lost a battle, doesn’t mean they can’t stop others from losing the same battle.
FGM, female genital mutilation, is a cruel act practiced in approximately 28 countries where the female genitalia is altered or injured entirely unconnected to medical reasons.
Although no one truly knows the origins of FGM, currently it is practiced mostly in African countries and some Middle Eastern countries. Its roots can be found in Ancient Rome and pharaonic Egypt. It is believed that it is used to control a woman’s sexuality and can vary from a small cut to infibulation, the most severe form of FGM. Infibulation is when the woman’s vagina is sewn up, leaving a small hole for urine and menstrual blood.
Nimco Ali, an anti-FGM activist decided to speak up about her tragic experience when she was only seven years old. She talks about the problems associated with feminism and how society in Australia seems to be stuck in the mindset that she can’t be a feminist because, “…feminism doesn’t sit well with me now because I’m straight, I love men, I don’t see all men as rapists, I don’t see all men as threats.” Passion causes her to do anything she can to draw attention to the cause. She believes people in the country should be focused on how to use military and departments of homeland security to defend women. Even though the cruel act is illegal, it still goes on because there seem to be too little prosecutions. Luckily, Australia’s first trial concerning the issue is occurring and an eleven year old girl describes the horrors she went through. Hopefully people like Nimco Ali will continue to empower women into understanding it is never too late to speak up. Until then, “Be a little bit more brave, a little bit more bold.”
[Photo Credit: Rowena Waack]