Women's Studies


Dr. Richard Hiskes


I was in high school when I was chosen by the president of my high school to represent my school for a convention dedicated to young girls and women. The main topic was on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and I was very surprised to know that such thing is happening in the world and precisely in my country, Niger. After the convention, I was very uncomfortable the whole time till I got home. My mom asked me how the convention went because she knew how excited I was about representing my school. I just nodded and answered that it was fine. She gazed at me and asked what was bothering me. I remembered breaking down before even saying anything. She held me against her, and insisted I share my frustration. I, then, told her about FGM, the causes, the consequences, and all its implications I was taught at the convention. I was shocked when her answer was “ I am a victim of circumcision too.” I felt like the whole world around me was going to crumble under my feet. I could feel this huge anger in my chest. I asked her what happened because I wanted to know who were those people who harmed my mother. That is when she told me about her story, which I will narrate later on.

In this paper, I will give an overview of FGM. I will first talk about the history around it, then, give some background information and connect it to Human Rights issues. I will bring up some failed attempt to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation. Finally, I will give some critics around the subject and an alternative solution to the issue.