Approximately 200 million girls around the world have undergone FGM, the reasons cited are varied. Some claim it’s a rite of passage for a girl to transition into womanhood; others think it is a crucial custom that has been practiced for a long time.
In Egypt, even though the practice is legally banned it is perpetuated by the main enforcer, the matriarch of the family, the grandmother. The practitioners who carry out the procedures in small villages are mostly midwifes and barbers.
In 2011 Dr. Adriana Kaplan-Marcusán, a Gambian scholar, with the WISE opposition to FGM in hand, walked into a colloquium in Mauritania uninvited and asked for the scholars’ and imams’ attention. The religious leaders were speechless— this simply was not done, and certainly not by a woman.
Once they received religious education from the WISE Initiative, the practitioners were willing to give up the practice and adopt a different career path.
Female Genital Cutting: Harmful and Un-Islamic