September 7, 2015
I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers and my family are from Khartoum in Sudan. I came to the UK 4 years ago. In Sudan they do FGM from age 4-7. I think things are changing in the capital.
My father was very educated. My grandfather wanted to make FGM for me – he thought it would protect me from sexual issues. All my friends had FGM and had a nice party.
When I was around 7 years old, I told my father I wanted FGM because I wanted a party and thought I would get money from my relatives. My father said to my Mum “never do that to W and her sisters”. Unfortunately my elder 2 sisters have had FGM because my father was out of Sudan at that time and my grandfather arranged it.
When I asked my father to do FGM for me, he said “I’m fighting for you, W, why do you want to do this?”. He said “when you grow up you will know what FGM is exactly and you will appreciate that I have saved you”. Now I know that my father made a good decision for me. I am very happy and glad that I have not had FGM.
Now I’m fighting like my father to protect my nieces in Sudan as unfortunately my father passed away in 2003. I joined Save the Children in Sudan as a volunteer for 2 years and worked against FGM. I joined the Sudanese Women’s Union in Oxford and we did a workshop about FGM last year.
Now I have a daughter and I save her – I couldn’t make FGM for her. I want her to be very strong and know her rights and life without boundaries. When I go on holiday to Sudan I take her with me to meetings so she can learn about her rights and in case someone takes her for FGM.
In the past my Mum thought FGM protected girls from sexual issues but now she is also against FGM and is educated.
My husband supports me to complete my study. I’m doing a degree in genetics and would like a career in cancer biology. My husband is very educated. He said “never ever do FGM for my daughter or any of my children”. He said he chose me because I didn’t have FGM.
My elder sisters with FGM suffer with painful periods and during labour. They are against FGM for their daughters.
My father fought for all the brothers and sisters to be educated.
I tell people that FGM is not related to religion – it’s just traditional from past family. People should think about education.