„All is not well with my people“, a report by the activist Bintou Bojang about her campaign against Female Genital Mutilation in West Africa

bintou senegal2

Since I came back from my trip to West Africa, I’ve been thinking and crying every night for the women I met. Their words and stories are echoing in my mind, stories of extreme suffering in the hands of their husbands, about their fear of the darkness of the night, when they will be forced to have sex even though sex is extremely painful for a woman who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation. They also fear getting pregnant because of the unberable agony of deliverying. As child birth rates are rampant, the suffering of the mothers is huge. In addition to it, there is the stress caused by mothers in law, who force the women to work for the family, no matter how hurt or sick they can be. All is not well with my people. We must stand up for these women because they are helpless, voiceless and subjected to ignorance.

I can say that my trip was successful. My humble self has never tought I could be this strong. Hmmm, I now believe the words my father when he used to say: „She is not what people see in her. She is different, different in everything.“ I came back with a video that documents my meetings with the women. We are now editing and will be important to show it when it is ready.bintou senegal

bintouvideostillI am also working on the preparation of an event in November. The idea is to speak about gender activism, beginning on the 25st of November, day to fight violence against women, and continuing for 10 to 16 days. My target is to train 300 women across West Africa, to give them tools to create a strong voice, when they can enlighten themselves and come with ideas of how to deal with the challenges they face, being it because of their husbands, mothers, sisters, inlaws.
During my campaign I have come to realize that some women allow their daughters to be cut by the girls’ mother in law, sisters in law. According to the women, the inlaws are in a position of even choosing a second wife to the girls’ husbands as well as enslaving them on the process. This power of the inlaws adds on top of the fear they already have of their husbands.

It is definitely a challenging situation when the older women stay ignorant about the implications behind the Female Genital Mutilation. I must say though that women from ages varying from 10 to 40 years old came to listen to me and one circumciser even dropped her knife in respect of the law and health of the women. In this I see a possibility for change and that’s why I would like us to form a very strong team of activists who would like to volunteer and come with me on my next journey.

For more information, please contact:

International Women Space

Tabu e.V.

Frauen auf der Flucht

LETS STAND TOGETHER:

NO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

NO FGM!

NO SECRET MUTILATION!

NO EARLY MARRIAGE AND MATRIMONIAL TORTURE!FGM Bintou

 

 

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