Segments in this Video

Dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (04:46)


In Afar, Ethiopia, Aisha bled to death as Fouad consummated their marriage; he had to cut her vagina open after she had been circumcised. The UNFPA and UNICEF work to end the traditional practice. Hear how girls are circumcised.

Efforts to Stop Female Circumcision (03:37)

Sheikh Musa works to convince Afar villagers to abandon FGM. One elder says families have modified the mutilation to remove the clitoris only, known as sunna. Many believe it is a religious requirement, although it is not mentioned in the Koran.

Shifting Perceptions (03:03)

In 2005, Ethiopia criminalized female circumcision; villagers perform it in secret and prosecution is rare. An Afar woman says she only cuts the clitoris, and does not fully mutilate girls. Women objected to stopping the practice altogether.

Suffering from Female Circumcision (03:30)

Malika was infibulated as a child, resulting in a fistula. She can no longer control her urine or feces and is unable to stand. Her mother discusses community steps taken to lessen health risks. Malika will not circumcise her daughter.

Healthy, Loving Marriage (01:46)

Hawa was not circumcised and has a healthy sexual relationship. Her husband did not want to risk a wife dying in childbirth. She has educated other women on risks of FGM, including her mother.

Positive Change in Doho (02:15)

The UNFPA-UNICEF program helped convince Hawa's village to abandon female circumcision. Sheikh Musa showed that it is not allowed in Islam, and maternal mortality rates have since fallen.

Rationale for Abandoning Female Circumcision (03:27)

Doho women are educating family members in neighboring villages about stopping FGM. Sheikh Musa faced resistance from people fearing he is converting them to Christianity. Doho's chairman discusses how FGM negatively impacts women's health and the entire community.

Education and Literacy (03:43)

In villages that abandoned FGM, schools teach children about the dangers of the cultural practice. Health worker Mohammed Seid discusses slow progress towards change.

Credits: True Story (00:11)

Credits: True Story

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In Ethiopia the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM) is still very common—despite it being illegal. We traveled to the Afar region of Ethiopia to tell the true story of two villages: one which has chosen to abandon FGM and one which intends to continue the practice.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL144790

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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