September 1, 2016
I’m 21 years old and was born in Somaliland. My mother and father are from Somaliland.
When I was 7 or 8 years old, my Mum asked me if I wanted FGM. She asked me three times. I said I was not sure and she gave me two months to think about it.
All my friends had FGM. We all wore the same shoes and the same clothes. I didn’t want to be different from the others. So I told my Mum I would give it a try and I had FGM when I was 9 years old.
I had the easiest type, we have 2 types, but it’s still not healthy and I wouldn’t advise anyone to try it.
FGM gives you a hard life when you get married and have children. Women with FGM get regular UTIs (urinary tract infections) and after having children they have to stay in hospital for treatment.
I think people do FGM due to lack of knowledge and because they are following old traditions. They are trying to keep girls safe, so they don’t go with anyone and a girl is just with her husband. They don’t realise how painful it is.
When I first came to the UK at aged 17, I sometimes thought it was great I had FGM because I knew an 18 year old British girl who had slept with too many men and not had safe sex and she was in hospital with a blood infection. But we can get girls to do the right things without getting hurt. I know a lot of British girls who haven’t had FGM and they are still virgins. It’s all about trust from the parents.
I think boys are boys and if you are easy to them, they will take advantage of you. In our culture, if a man wants you he has to go to your family. Parents are right to keep girls safe but they don’t realise that the way (FGM) is not healthy. They should advise them about what is a good life. When we are born, we are nothing, like a new tree and children can grow the way we want them to. If we teach them positive stuff then I don’t think anything will happen. It’s all about how parents treat their girls.
My advice is do not do FGM to your child, don’t give them the hard life that you had already. Everyone is saying that FGM is not good. If people don’t study and don’t know what happens biologically, they keep doing it. We advise people now, so not so many are doing it.
People should concentrate on doing new stuff, teaching children, children going to school, creating new jobs, rather than making life hard and repeating things that are not useful.