Supporting our local midwife in her quest to end Female Genital Multilation
Cath Holland is a midwife living in Grange-over-Sands and through her time in Kenya doing VSO training midwives observed the adverse consequences of female genital mutilation ( FGM) on women during childbirth. She founded the charity Beyond FGM which works in rural Kenya in the Pokot region where this practice is illegal but carried out frequently . Cath and her team educate the traditional birth attendants ( who are often the cutters), women and girls about the consequences of FGM and also educate the men , both elders and the young men.
FGM is associated with traditional “rite of passage” ceremonies with gifts, and to empower girls to resist FGM and alter attitudes in their communities, a course and an “alternative rite of passage” ceremony has been devised which does not involve cutting. Instead of the traditional gifts a woven embroidered bracelet is given to each girl. To assist Cath with her work, and to show support and solidarity with these girls, members of SI Grange-over-Sands together with members of Lancaster club learned how to make these bracelets. Member Chris Butler has made over five thousand of bracelets since 2012!
Type 1 – removal of the clitoris either partially or completely
Type 2 – removal of the clitoris either partially or completely and the labia minora ( inner lips)
Type 3 – removal of the labia minora and the labia majora (outer lips) and sewing up the wound leaving a small hole for the passage of menstrual blood and urine (infibulation). It may also include the removal of the clitoris
Type 4 – includes any other procedure such as pricking the clitoris, introduction of corrosive substance into the vagina and tattoos.