Without the right to your life

“We do this procedure on girls in order to maintain their purity and chastity, so that they will not desire men. It’s better for them to feel pain now than in the future. Female circumcision is compulsory because it is part of our tradition and tradition does not change.”

– exert from a TV-debate, online discussion about the struggle against female mutilation, by Winds of Jihad.

Yesterday was a tough day. Rabia and I met young girls who told us about the days when they were raped. “No photos, no names.” Those were the conditions for the meeting to take place. “No problem,” we said, and off we went in a white van with prints from international organizations on the sides.

We had just talked to Zeinabou Taleb Moussa – one of the strongest women I have ever met – and she told us about her struggles against female genital mutilation and how the society for millenniums has adapted traditions to keep the women from reaching power. “Keep her uneducated, make her fat so she can’t move properly, remove her sexual organs”… the list was made long.

In the middle of the night I woke up, and couldn’t fall back asleep. When writing my notes and recordings into word documents today I couldn’t write it all in one go. It’s the heaviest notes I’ve ever had to write.


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