"The Day I Will Never Forget”: Unveiling the Reality of Female Genital Mutilation

Khurram Gardezi
February 22, 2024

Around 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) & 4.2 million are at risk.

"The Day I Will Never Forget" is a powerful documentary that explores the deeply personal and often taboo subject of female genital mutilation (FGM). Directed by Kim Longinotto, the film delves into the lives of women and girls in Kenya who have undergone FGM and the efforts of activists and organizations working to eradicate the practice.

“I had one girl who bled for two days. I had to remove the stitches as the point of bleeding was not visible. She screamed and screamed and screamed. I still hear that scream today sometimes''. Fardhosa shares.

Fardhosa (from the documentary “The Day I will Never Forget”) is a nurse at the Hospital for Mothers & Children in Nairobi in Kenya struggling hard to convience people to stop practising FGM.

"Unveiling the Truth: Understanding Female Genital Mutilation":

FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, and it can have serious physical and psychological consequences for girls and women.Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting or female circumcision, is a deeply rooted cultural practice that persists in various parts of the world, including Kenya.

"Kenya's Battle Against Female Genital Mutilation: A Journey of Resistance and Change":

In Kenya, FGM is primarily practiced among certain ethnic communities, including the Maasai, Kisii, Kuria, Somali, and Samburu, among others

Various efforts have been made to address the issue of FGM in Kenya, including legislative measures, awareness campaigns, community education programs, and support for alternative rites of passage. Organizations and activists work tirelessly to raise awareness about the dangers of FGM, empower girls and women to resist the practice, and provide support and resources for survivors

"The Day I Will Never Forget" The Documentary highlights the introspective nature of the narrative, indicating that the story delves into deeper contemplation and analysis of FGM and its implications:        

The documentary follows several individuals, including young girls facing pressure from their families to undergo FGM, as well as women who have experienced the physical and emotional consequences of the procedure. Through intimate interviews and footage of community discussions and educational workshops, the film sheds light on the cultural, social, and religious factors that perpetuate FGM, as well as the challenges faced by those working to combat it.

"The Day I Will Never Forget" is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged exploration of a complex issue, offering viewers insight into the lived experiences of those affected by FGM and the ongoing struggle to end the practice. It serves as a call to action to raise awareness, promote dialogue, and support initiatives aimed at protecting the rights and well-being of women and girls worldwide.

The Day I Will Never Forget: A Harrowing and Unforgettable Documentary on Female Genital Mutilation",

 It’s an intense and graphic documentary, offers an exploration of female genital mutilation (FGM) in unflinching detail. This indicates that the documentary does not shy away from depicting the harsh realities of FGM, including its physical and emotional impact on individuals. By describing it as "intensely graphic," the title prepares viewers for the distressing content they may encounter while watching the documentary. 

   “On the wedding night, the husband finds out that her wife is not circumcised and the clitoris is dangling down. He simply takes out his dagger and cut off the dirty thing; the clitoris” A traditional Kenyan woman supporting FGM shares a story

Strategies for Action and Change

Stopping female genital mutilation (FGM) requires a comprehensive and multifaceted approach involving various stakeholders, including governments, communities, civil society organizations, healthcare providers, educators, and religious leaders. 

Governments should enact and enforce laws banning FGM, with penalties strong enough to deter practitioners and families. Comprehensive education campaigns are essential to raise awareness about the harmful effects of FGM on health, well-being, and human rights, targeting affected communities, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the general public. 

Engaging with community leaders, elders, and religious authorities is crucial for changing social norms and attitudes towards FGM, while empowering women and girls to advocate for their rights and resist pressure to undergo the practice. 

Providing alternative rites of passage and healthcare interventions, such as training providers to recognize and respond to FGM cases, are important. Additionally, gathering accurate data on FGM prevalence and fostering international cooperation are vital for designing effective interventions and supporting affected countries.

By implementing these strategies in a coordinated manner, it is possible to effectively combat and ultimately eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation. However, it requires sustained commitment and collaboration from all stakeholders involved.

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