Female Genital Mutilation Rising in Germany Because of Mass Migration Says German Doctor

Grandmothers helping to banish female genital circumcision

Over 70,000 women in Germany have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), and a further 17,000 young girls are at risk of having the barbaric procedure being committed against them.

A German doctor, Cornelia Strunz, who works at the Desert Flower Center said that the number of cases of FGM in Germany is rising due to increased migration from Islamic African and Asian countries, dubbed the ‘FGM Zone’ where the practice is widespread.

She advised women and girls who have undergone the procedure to have another surgery to reverse the damage caused by FGM.

“Many women have problems emptying their bladder after FGM. Menstrual blood can’t drain properly. For some, sex becomes practically impossible. Women can also develop fistulas — connections between two body parts which should not exist at all in normal circumstances. One example would be a link between the vagina and rectum, leading to them passing stools through the vagina. Obviously, that’s not very easy to live with”, Dr Strunz told Deutsche Welle.

Female genital mutilation is illegal in Germany, leading many families to travel to their country of origin to have the gruesome ritual performed on their daughters.

Shadia Abdelmoneim, a Sudanese woman living in Germany, had her genitals cut by her midwife while she was under anaesthetic, after the birth of her third child.

“I wanted to go to the toilet, but something wasn’t right. I couldn’t walk and was in considerable pain. When I saw what she had done, I was shocked. She’d cut everything open and then sewn it closed. I had no idea what to do”, Shadia told DW.

She told the German paper that the trauma led to a constant state of fear, for herself and for her three young daughters.

“How could women do something like that to one another, how? Being circumcised is like living in a dead body”, she said mournfully.

In response to the rising epidemic, Berlin is establishing its first anti-FGM centre, however, activists have called for more action including information campaigns that target the families of at-risk children.

“Many teachers and school staff aren’t well informed and don’t recognize the warning signs that a girl’s at risk of FGM. Sometimes, they also struggle to approach the issue in a sensitive manner”, said Charlotte Weil of the Terre des Femmes women’s rights charity, but warned that “a thousand-year-old tradition cannot be abolished in a couple of years.”

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