Motivating African Communities to Abandon Female Genital Mutilation

Life Together International

What is Female Genital Mutilation

Life Together International is working among the Sabiny people of Eastern Uganda who have practiced female genital mutilation (FGM) throughout the history of their tribe. The practice is intended to reduce the woman’s sexual desire by removing her clitoris and cutting off the labia majora and the labia minora (FGM, Type III). With the clitoris removed, the woman is unable to have pleasure during sex. In fact, FGM causes a buildup of scar tissue, often making sexual intercourse excruciatingly painful.

The thought is that because sex is painful instead of pleasurable, the unmarried girl will not want to have intercourse before marriage, and will therefore, remain a virgin for her husband. Also, the married woman will stay faithful because she won’t be interested in sex with anyone other than the man who requires it: her own husband.

The message of Life Together International has had a powerful effect on thousands of Sabiny men and women. We have been told that prior to our interactions with the Sabiny people, their leaders had dismissed the teachings of many NGOs because their arguments were based on women’s rights.