FGC is a highly personal and sensitive issue, and there may be reluctance among many of you to disclose information due to feelings of shame or fears of being judged as different. Although some report feelings of happiness and pride in having undergone FGC, most of our research suggests that this is an extremely traumatic event with harmful consequences. Some of you may suffer from multi-phase trauma, low self-esteem and negative self-image. Having heard a number of affected women share that they feel ‘ruined,’ our vision is to provide a resource for healing so that—although you may feel different—you need not feel ‘less than’.
The practice of female genital cutting has been followed by many different cultures and societies across the ages and continents. It is an ancient tradition, predating Christianity and Islam, involving the removal of parts or all of the external female genitalia. Although this custom is practiced in many African countries it has also been reported in Indonesia, Malaysia, parts of the Persian Gulf, and among ethnic minorities in Yemen, Oman, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Central and South America. It is also reported amongst Bedouin women in Israel and practiced by Ethiopian Jews, Coptic Christians and among Bohra Muslim populations in parts of India and Pakistan.