Female Genital Mutilation 3/3: Current statistics

To round up this series, just posting current information on this practice.

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This entire process would obviously be a traumatic experience for any girl. For some, it leads to life-long phobia whereas it produces erotophobia (fear of sex) in others leading to a strong sexual block that might take years of therapy to overcome. Since most of these circumcisions are done informally by unqualified women, they lead to infections that could lead to serious diseases. Chronic pain, burning during urinations, bleeding and kidney problems occur quite frequently among the victims of this practise. In some cases, even diseases such as AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis are passed on to the girl children. Menstruation is sometimes delayed due to the closing of the vaginal passage and in many cases, the blood collects in the womb if the vagina is not reopened.

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Magdalene Laundries – Part 2/2: Institutionalised Slavery

When the Sisters of Charity in Dublin sold off their property to the Government in 1993, the news burst forth that there were 133 unmarked graves in the grounds. It was discovered that these were previous inmates of the convent laundry. While some bodies were claimed by family members after this became public, many of them remained unnamed, unclaimed. One of the reasons they could not have been traced was that once they entered the asylum, their entire identity before entry was effaced, and their names changed. These women did not even have any death certificates, which went against the law of the time. The convent seemed to have got away with blatantly flouting the law in this case, as indeed, it had by forcibly detaining women to work without pay, and pocketing the income from their labour.

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Footbinding – Part 3/3: The End of an Era

The silk bandage still warm and fragrant,
Jade lotus hidden under the skirt,
She comes like a floating fairy.
Next to the lifted curtain,
She looks so delicate as if the wind could blow her away;
She walks lightly around the pond, not disturbing the moss.
On the silent path,
Her flowing skirt does not stir any dust.
After a swing,
She leans on her lover’s shoulder with a smile,
and takes time to pull off her shoes

                           – Liang Qingbiao

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