Wednesday, April 9, 2014
FGM BLOOD ON THE FLOOR AND RAPE IN BED, THE PRICE OF FGM AND CHILD BRIDE.At 13 ,mutilated,married,pregnant and lost the baby due to Fistula caused by FGM and 5 reconstructive surgeries By Ambassador Lucy Mashua Sharp ,courtesy of Daily nation Kenya.
YES THIS CHILD BY THE TIME SHE WAS 13 YEARS OLD,SHE HAD BEEN MUTILATED, BECAME PREGNANT,LOST THE BABY DUE TO FISTULA(STILL BIRTH,DIVORCED.SHE SAYS SHE COULD NOT HOLD OR CONTROL URINE OR BOWEL MOVEMENT AND HAD NO IDEA THAT IT WAS FGM COMPLICATION, THE HUSBAND FORCED HER TO BE MUTILATED. FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION have been labelled “culture” and “tradition” by its proponents, dressed up to look and sound nice — sort of like painting the walls of a prison — but deep within it remains, at least to me, the lowest that a people can stoop. Hello dear reader. My name is Irene Chelegat. I am aged 20 and the story I want to tell you is based on my personal experiences, first, as a woman and, second, as a wife. It is a story that I hope will change the lives of my peers for the better, a story that I have been yearning to tell for a long time. I come from Kapenguria, a timid dusty town 430 kilometres to the north-west of Nairobi. I call the town timid because, over the years, I have watched it cow into submission as the scorching sun battles for supremacy with dry winds that lick life out of anything that stands in their way. And the hills that surround my little town have for centuries stood and watched in disturbing muteness, like witnesses to a crime, as the place loses the battle with the elements. Beneath that timidity, however, lies something more sinister and heart-wrenching. And I am the very personification of the effects of that sinister monster. It has been labelled “culture” and “tradition” by its proponents, dressed up to look and sound nice — sort of like painting the walls of a prison — but deep within it remains, at least to me, the lowest that a people can stoop. My reasons for that evaluation are four: One, I was 13 when I got married; two, I was 13 when I was mutilated; three, I was 13 when I lost my baby through obstructed labour; and, four, I was 13 when I was divorced. Yes, by the time the average Kenyan girl of my age was preparing for her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, I had been married and divorced, and left with scars that I have struggled with ever since. It is easy, then, to see why I may sound a little bitter about the timidity of Kapenguria. It all began in 2007, when I was a Standard Four pupil at Chepararia Primary School. I had just entered teenage and was beginning to notice changes in my body when a 24-year-old man asked me to be his girlfriend. He had pursued me for a while, but since I was in school most of the time, we could only meet during the holidays, when he would visit and bring me gifts. After a short while, I was hooked. When we eventually got intimate, I thought it was part of the normal friendship between boys and girls. After all, other girls reported having similar experiences during the holidays. After some time, however, I noticed I was growing round and plump, but I did not think much of it. It was only after I heard my boyfriend telling his friends that I was pregnant that I realised what was happening. Then aged 13, I had no idea what being pregnant was, but at least I now understood why my skin was dry, why I felt sleepy in the afternoons and had bouts of nausea. Most importantly, I understood that I was not sick, but that a baby was growing inside me. Consequently, I dropped out of school and moved in with my boyfriend. He did not have a steady job but managed to provide for us. I did not go for any antenatal visits, but towards the eighth month, he took me to a clinic in a place called Seger. The doctor insisted that I visit the clinic daily for check-ups, but I never went back. My boyfriend, now pressured by the turn of events, said he would marry me, but on condition that I agreed to be mutilated. You see, my community considers un-mutilated girls children, and therefore does allow children to give birth to children. So, to be a woman and a mother, I had to undergo FGM. I had been told about the pain involved, but my boyfriend insisted it was the only ticket to marriage. Since I did not want to shame my husband-to-be or my family, I agreed to undergo the procedure. Turns out the man had done his homework well and knew not only who would mutilate me, but how much we would have to pay for the procedure as well. Mutilation is a two-day affair here. The first day is marked by traditional dances and rituals. In the early morning cold, we sang traditional folk songs as red ochre was applied on our faces. There were older women around to take us through the steps of becoming a woman. Then the 81 of us made a timid file into a hut. From the mood and the terse talks, you could tell that it was a solemn occasion. Most of my fellow initiates were between 18 and 19 years. I was among the youngest, but that did not matter since we would all walk out as women. Two of the initiates were as heavily pregnant as I was. I had the privilege, or so I thought, of being the first under the knife. The circumciser, an old woman, had a razor in one hand and a spear in the other. The spear, we had been warned, was to stab anyone who showed any fear during the procedure. She charged Sh500 for the honour. She came up to me, her eyes glistening with excitement, pulled my face close to hers and asked if I had willingly chosen this path. Of course I had not, I wanted to tell her, but there was no backing out now. My marriage, honour and respect were at stake, and so I nodded my response. I knew what was expected of me at this point, so I immediately lay on my back and arched my legs. She smeared some warm ash on me and the next minute... I felt as if ants were clawing and sawing and pinching their way up my back. Chop. Chop. Slice. Each mutilation accompanied by such searing pain that I can’t put it into words. Rivulets of blood dripped down my thighs to the ground, but at least I was inching closer to being a woman. This was worth every drop of blood, right? When she was done, she bound my legs at the ankles and thighs with a sisal rope. As I continued bleeding, some women lifted me and placed me on the dewy grass outside the hut. I was numb from the pain, but that was just day one. The next day she would work on what was left of my “childish” parts. I could not move or walk or go to the toilet as the pain wracked my body. The second mutilation was even worse. The pain felt like a thousand daggers on my flesh. She cut everything out and stitched it all up again. I looked and felt like — how do I put this — a knee. All flat. No bumps. Nothing there. It was all gone. Unlike others, my wound took time to heal and when it did three weeks later, there was barely any opening, making urinating extremely painful for me. Then, as fate would have it, I went into labour shortly after the wound healed. The labour brought with it a fresh bout of pain that was beyond what I had imagined. My waters just broke unexpectedly, and for hours I did not go to the hospital. Eventually, my husband took me back to the clinic in Seger, where they said there was no passage for the baby, so I had to undergo an emergency operation. I was transferred to Ortum Mission hospital, north of Kitale, where they could save my life and, hopefully, that of my child. I was tired and weak, and each contraction took a little life out of me. By the time doctors performed a Caesarian Section on me, the baby had already died, possibly from the exhaustion. To make matters worse, when I came to, I realised I could not contain my urine or stool. I panicked and asked the doctor what was happening: “You are torn,” he replied, meaning I had developed a condition known as fistula. I was in hospital for six months. My husband one day came to visit me with a flask of tea. He offered me a cup and when I drank it, I wet my bed almost immediately. Ignorant of what fistula is, he said I was cursed and broke the news that he was leaving me for greener pastures. He accused me of being unfaithful and called some old men who told me that I would recover if I named the men I had cheated on my husband with. HUSBAND REMARRIED And so, while I was still aged 13, my husband remarried. He now has two wives, both of them my age mates. And, most importantly, mutilated. I was alone and destitute when my maternal aunt, who had been taking care of me since my mum died in 2004, came for me — here is where I get to tell you that I do not know my biological father. At home, I could not leave the house because of the stench I was releasing. I was scared of eating or drinking anything. For six years I endured shame, and my self-esteem hit rock bottom. Then one day I went back to Ortum Hospital for assistance and was referred to Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital in Eldoret. It was here that I met officers of the Sentinelles, a programme in West Pokot that intervenes in matters of FGM and early marriages, and which later introduced me to the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref). During my stay at Moi Referral I discovered that my case was not unique. I saw hundreds of women with fistula. In fact, some cases were worse than mine. I was not cursed, after all! I underwent five reconstructive surgeries to repair the damage. It is now six months since my last operation in October last year and I am healed. My life is repaired, literally. But many other girls follow in my footsteps. My people should know that by subjecting their daughters and sisters to mutilation, they are not making them full women, but instead churning out broken women who believe they are cursed and useless. Female Genital Mutilation gives women a life of pain, misery and fistula, and I hope the government, through the Anti-FGM board led by Linah Jebii Kilimo, will go to the heart of timid Kapenguria and stop mutilation. Ambassador Lucy S. Mashua, President of Mashua Voice for the Voiceless, International Assisting and advocating for U.S. refugees and women’s rights Global Ambassador for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Support in lobbying for HR 2221: The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack. http://twitter.com/Mashua http://mashuavoiceforthevoiceless.blogspot.com/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415
Sunday, December 1, 2013
One of the many saddest flashback From one FGM Survivor as she narrates to a blogger.. "How My Mother mutilated Me Then Married Me Off To a 60 Year Old" !
HERE IS THE STORY FROM ONE BRAVE SURVIVOR OF FGM AND CHILD MARRIAGE.(GRAB YOUR TISSUES). As you read this remember the FGM season is on in East Africa and come January many girls will be married off and kiss their childhood,and education goodbye:(. My name is Peris Lomurut. I am 20 Years old. I am from the tiny Rendille community. And I am a mother. To 4 children. I was born in January 16th 1993 in a tiny village, to the extreme north of Kenya. I attended Karare Primary School. But just briefly. Because in 2003,when I was in class 3,I was forcefully woken up by my mother and a team of some other three old,haggard women. It was 3am in the morning. Confused,they grabbed me. Shook me to consciousness and under the thick cover of darkness,whisked me off to some secluded location. I was confused. And unaware of what was going on. I tried to scream,but Mum held my mouth hard. And asked me to cooperate. I tried to free myself and run to safety,but I was too tiny. They easily overpowered me. After what seemed like an eternal journey,full of anguish and turmoil,I was pushed into a poorly-lit scraggly hut. And then I was dumped infront of a deathly-looking old woman. She grinned like a witch. And her eyes were cold. And hands were rough. Flipping me around,she ordered that the other women hold me down. And strip me NAKED. I was too young to comprehend the magnitude of this madness. And right there,other old women held me down,MY MOTHER INCLUDED. They stripped me naked. And ordered that I spread my legs. I refused. And started screaming and wailing. It was ALL in vain. A dirty piece of cloth was stuffed into my mouth. And I was firmly held down. And my legs forcefully pulled apart. I heard a blunt thing attempt to cut through my genitals. I heard it again. And by the third time,I think I passed out. I came to my senses HOURS later. It was daytime already. And Mum had hidden me at the back of our crumbling hut. I had been initiated to Womanhood. My genitals had been mutilated. And sown up. With a thorn. Yes,a sharp hard thorn. I had bled profusely. And now Mum and other wicked women were busy forcing me to swallow bitter concoctions of local herbs to alleviate my burning pain. It was Hell. My genitals were sewed up. Like a piece of torn cloth. I couldnt even pass urine. And anytime I attempted to do that, the pain would send me to the ground,writhing and cursing. After what seemed like forever,the wound healed. I was now the latest victim of Female Genital Mutilation. Following Year,in November 2004,My parents planned a forced marriage for me! Dad was there. Mum was there. My elder sisters were part of it. And one evening,an old man,well over 60 Years was introduced to me as my new groom. I almost collapsed. In shock. I excused myself. And pretended to have gone for a call of nature. But once I was outside,I fled. I ran away. And ended up at the Chief's camp. I met the chief. And,tearfully,narrated my ordeal to him. I was WRONG. Dead wrong. What happened is that,the chief pretended to pity me. And after I finished my story,he locked me up in a dark room. And told me he was hiding me. What a traitor! 30 minutes later,my parents and our whole clan showed up at the Chiefs camp. Plus the 60-Year old man. It later turned out that the Chief had sold me away. And alerted our people. Needless to say,a dozen sheep and goats were exchanged. As my bride price. And at the tender age of 11 Years,I became a wife. Sex began IMMEDIATELY. From the first night! And Ladies and Gentlemen,allow me to say that it was the MOST PAINFUL sexual experience ever! Remember my genitals had been mutilated earlier. And tied up with bush strings and tiny thorns. In the MOST gory,inhuman and unprofessional manner. It wasnt just PAIN. It was HELL. I went numb. And almost passed out. I tried to protest and reason with this behemoth of a man. But my husband couldnt hear NONE of it. He subjected me to NOTHING but pure torture. For his OWN pleasure. For many,many cold nights. And from late 2004 to 2009,I was in a cold,disastrous,painful,loveless and forced marriage. And I was his FOURTH WIFE. To him,I wasnt a human being. Or an equal married partner. I was a sex toy. A baby-making machine. And sure enough,I DID MAKE Babies. Endlessly. I painfully gave birth to a string of 5 babies. Two of whom died. Due to ill health. And malnutrition. In 2009,I fled my marital home. And with the help of the St Augustine Catholic Church,I was whisked to Nairobi for safety. And mental rehabilitation. And for 4 Years now,I havent seen or heard from my parents. Or children. As I speak now,thousands of Rendille girls,Borana Girls and Samburu Girls and going through what I went through. As we speak now,some girl's tiny genitals are getting mutilated. If we dont ACT NOW. We will NEVER save the situation. There is a difference between CULTURE. And MADNESS. What I went through wasn't CULTURAL. That was DEMONIC. Pray for our sisters. Ambassador Lucy S. Mashua, President of Mashua Voice for the Voiceless, International Assisting and advocating for U.S. refugees and women’s rights Global Ambassador for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Leading in lobbying for HR 2221: The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack. http://twitter.com/Mashua http://mashuavoiceforthevoiceless.blogspot.com/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415
Monday, August 26, 2013
Parents now in Kenya bribing chiefs to secretly mutilate their daughters in the middle of night girls between 11-14 years old and marry them Sexual slavery, By Lucy Mashua Sharp (Courtesy of Standard Kenya)
Saturday, July 13, 2013
THE REALITY OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION UNSPEAKABLE ACT THAT IT HAS CONTINUED TO BE IGNORED! UN ,WHO AND OTHER BIG ORGANISATIONS CONTINUE TO DECORATE THE TRUTH. BY AMBASSADOR LUCY MASHUA SHARP
WARNING CONTAINS GRAPHIC DISTURBING REAL PICTURES OF FGM AFTERMATH CLICK VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK. FGM complications during birth where thousands die and millions reopened during birth:-(, seriously we are letting "CULTURE" AND "RELIGION' BE AN EXCUSE?) INFIBULATION MOST COMMON IN EAST AFRICA PHARONIC FGM.AGAIN THEY GET AWAY AND IT'S ACCEPTED AS CULTURE OR RELIGION, THIS EVIL IS ACTUALLY TOLERATED WHERE ARE THE BIG GUNS?!! VAGINA KELOIDS AFTER FGM!! THIS IS SO UPSETTING AND JUST INHUMAN! HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO CONTINUE IGNORING THE FACTS! AFRICAN ACTIVISITS RISK THEIR LIVES EVERYDAY ONLY TO BE OVERLOOKED,USED AND NOT TO BE HEARD! FGM CONTINUES AND THE REAL VICTIMS ARE NOT VISIBLE THEY ARE INVISIBLE, JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND IMAGINE THE INVISIBLE COMPLICATIONS INSIDE A YOUNG GIRL OR WOMAN'S BODY. THAT IS WHY IT GETS SO PERSONAL TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW ,SEEN,LIVED THE REALITY OF FGM AND SURVIVED IT ALL TO BE A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS. IF YOU CONTINUE AFTER SEEING THIS PICTURES CALLING IT "CUTTING"OR "FEMALE CIRCUMCISION" I WILL CALL YOU IGNORANT AND HEARTLESS! Ambassador Lucy Mashua sharp, President of Mashua Voice for the Voiceless, International Assisting and advocating for U.S. refugees and women’s rights Global Ambassador for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Leading in lobbying for HR 2221: The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack. http://twitter.com/Mashua http://mashuavoiceforthevoiceless.blogspot.com/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415
Friday, April 19, 2013
The attack on Keir Starmer DPP was uncalled for and it was RACIST by Councillor Rakhia Ismail! Shame on you Rakhia! You owe that sweet man an APOLOGY!! FGM DO EXIST.By Ambassador Lucy Mashua Sharp.
Racism goes both ways! And now race cards are being played by FGM condoners / mutilators / ignorants / deniers and just the stupids!! Most African females that condone or deny FGM are using racism "White vs Black" to attack the white activists working and joining in the fight against FGM , Yes I know there is a history of white organisations that continue to use African problems like FGM and mortality rate for their own profit or 5 minutes of fame, and they make sure none of African led non-profits gets directly funded to fight FGM without them involved. But with that said I know tones of Westerners activists who genuinely condemn FGM and really are dedicated to help end this barbaric atrocious practice worldwide!!, So some few very few so called educated African females living in the west that condones or deny FGM they are using racism as a tool to silence the white activists and law makers who sincerely want to see the end of FGM , The attack on a top legal chief Keir Starmer by Councillor Rakhia Ismail ( Somali origin and a survivor of FGM herself) , was uncalled for , stupid, and just racist!! Shame on you Rakhia by ignoring FGM happens to this day and millions of young girls and women are suffering and because you have not done anything about FGM you are ashamed you are not voicing of problems affecting your very own because you are so full of your self it made you feel embarrassed when a white male tabled concern about FGM prosecutions in the UK!! Why be so defensive ma'am ? Are you guilty or embarrassed ? "Director of Public Prosections Keir Starmer told an audience at Islington Town Hall that no one had been prosecuted under a 28-year-old law banning female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain because it was too difficult to do so.Instead, he suggested charges of child abuse should be brought." Tell me is there something wrong with a genuine concern like these?, Why would you launch an astonishing RACIST attack on someone who genuinely want human rights abusers prosecuted?, by calling him "white middle-class bourgeoisie” who think that “all ethnic minority people are barbaric”.Educate yourself FGM does not only happens in Africa or to African immigrants only it is also in the Middle East ! Who are you protecting, RACE,CULTURE,RELIGION or MUTILATORS ? Yes I know when you want to win a debate and to silence a strong opponent yell the word RACIST and you will succeed to silence your opponent and cowardly cheat into winning debate!! Which I think it's total bull crap and people who play this cards are full of crap!! Councillor Rakhia Ismail you owe the director of public prosecution an apology, you ought to be investigated and finally shame on you for playing the RACE card on a silent killer like FGM which happens every 8-11 seconds to be honest you are the RACIST!, you are also a derby downer to every genuine Anti FGM activist, you are also an embarrassment to African women especially we East African women, and finally shame on you for throwing FGM survivors and victims under the bus and for denying FGM is going on!! By the Global Ambassador for fighting FGM and standing up for Women rights Ambassador Lucy Mashua Sharp.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
In Tanzania about 5,000 girls aged between 10 and 16 were rounded up for mutilation in one region alone in two weeks and government admits they have failed in the fight against FGM! The truth is in East Africa FGM is still on the rise and it is performed in secret and at night! by Lucy Mashua
Friday, December 21, 2012
It's about time!!! Way to go UNGA:-), now lets move from words to action!! The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution banning female genital mutilation (FGM), an instance of brutality, which around three million women and girls are forced to experience worldwide each year. The resolution, which was adopted on Thursday, described the practice as an "irreparable, irreversible abuse” and urged on member states to "take all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit female genital mutilations and to protect women and girls from this form of violence," Reuters reported. The resolution, which is not legally binding, also expressed concern about "evidence of an increase in the incidence of female genital mutilations being carried out by medical personnel in all regions in which they are practiced." "This practice, justified on false pretenses by supposed cultural and religious tenets, remains a taboo subject, misunderstood and misinterpreted in several societies," Burkina Faso's UN Ambassador Der Kogda told the General Assembly. "We need to break the silence that has surrounded FGM...and move towards its elimination," Kogda said. I respect UN for admitting that they have been silence on FGM and that FGM has been on the increase and not on decrease as some other fame hungry organizations claim and ignore the real suffering of my people!! I am happy it is not the end of the World its a one step closer to ending FGM :-).! Ambassador Mashua