FGM in the West
Eight years ago, a teacher called me from Atlanta urgently seeking advice. One of her students, a bright 15-year-old immigrant from the Gambia, confided to Ms. Smith* that she was on her way to New York where she said her father had plans to forcibly marry her to a stranger and subject her to female genital mutilation or FGM. Khadija* needed help.
A few days later, Khadija confirmed on the phone that the marriage to a man twice her age had occurred in a Harlem mosque. However, her teacher misunderstood the mentioned procedure. Khadija told me she had been genitally excised as a baby and was scarred. She was scheduled to visit a Manhattan East Side surgeon to "deinfibulate” her to ease the consummation of her arranged marriage. (continue reading...)