Even though she has spoken about seeing the devastating effects of FGM firsthand in hospitals, I still wondered if she might possibly have undergone the mutilation herself. The women on her mother’s side for three generations had been saved from the knife because her grandfather–the son of a famous leader during Sudan’s freedom fight from Britain–had decided it was wrong.
When she came over to the house, I asked her straight out. She told me other party leaders had condemned her grandfather for this decision, but he won out in the end because of his high social rank.
The guys who had spent most of their lives in Khartoum said they hadn’t given the matter much thought since it was far-fetched to think about sex when, for unmarried young people, it’s a big deal just to hold hands or kiss. I have written for Women’s e News over the years about FGM, both in Sudan as well as in Europe, so I was fairly well informed.
According to Sudanese traditions, a bride wears only a raht.
Beads of candy or date are connected to the leather pieces which make a belt.
There are the deaths, the infections and complications during childbirth.
There is the procedure itself, which is sometimes performed very crudely, sometimes by practitioners using pieces of broken glass.