EDMONTON—As 12-year-old Rosie Makore runs across the northern Tanzania Serengeti, she is risking her life and taking a chance she may never see her family again.
But she, along with other girls her age, is taking a stand against female genital mutilation (FGM), aided by fellow survivors of cutting.
Director Giselle Portenier’s film, In the Name of Your Daughter is making its North American debut at NorthwestFest (formerly Global Vision) in Edmonton on Sunday. The trailer for the film opens with Makore running, spliced with happier images of a community celebrating and dancing. Both Portenier, and a 26-year-old survivor of cutting, Yasmin Mumed, will be in attendance and speaking at the event.
“When young girls are educated about the lifelong harmful and devastating effects of genital mutilation they don’t want to go through it,” Portenier said. “Some of these girls try to talk to their parents and say, ‘please I don’t want to go through this.’”
All risk, no benefit
FGM can be classified in four groups: clitoridectomy where the clitoris is partially or fully removed; excision where the clitoris and labia minora are removed and the labia majora may also be removed; infibulation, where the vaginal opening is sealed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora or majora; and a fourth type where the genital area is pricked, pierced, incised, scraped or cauterized.
Girls in Tanzania as young as eight years old have the choice between being mutilated and remaining in their community, or running away with the possibility of never seeing their family again. There are no health benefits, but the risks of cutting are great, including severe pain, bleeding, infection, urinary and menstrual problems, shock, long-term psychological problems and death.
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