In the Name of Tradition

تشرين الثاني 21 2012, تصنيف: Clitoraid NEWS
By Adam & Steve Goldie

In the name of tradition, some 140 million women alive today have been forced to endure having their genitalia mutilated (WHO Fact Sheet No. 241). To end this horrific practice the registered charity Clitoraid, which was founded by Rael, together with an international team of volunteer doctors and nurses, intends to surgically repair the clitorises of thousands of female genital mutilation (FGM) victims in a “Pleasure Hospital” it is building in West Africa.

In accordance with a barbaric tradition that is still prevalent within many African communities, young girls in many parts of the world are forced to undergo one or more of the excruciating procedures known as clitoridectomy (partial or total removal of the external clitoris), excision (partial or total removal of the external clitoris and the labia, "the lips" that surround the vagina), infibulation (the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the cutting and repositioning of the labia, with or without removal of the clitoris) and other harmful procedures to the female genitalia. These brutal and senseless acts, known collectively as female genital mutilation (FGM), may be carried out by traditional “circumcisers” but are frequently carried out by female relatives, themselves earlier victims of the practice, using crude instruments and without anaesthesia.

FGM is effective in denying future sexual pleasure to the pubescent girls subjected to it, but the “procedure” also causes severe bleeding and problems when urinating. Those that survive face a future of cysts, infections, infertility, complications in childbirth that increase the risk to both mother and baby, as well as relationship and psychological problems. Little could be done to help these women until 1979 when Dr. Pierre Foldès, a French urologist and surgeon, developed a revolutionary surgical procedure designed to help FGM victims achieve their first clitoral sensations and to repair the associated physical damage.

In 2004, spiritual teacher Rael proposed the creation of a non-profit organization dedicated to ending FGM by raising funds to cover the cost of the surgery for as many FGM victims as possible. Clitoraid International now has branches in over twenty countries around the world and has so far assisted thirty-four women to have the “repair” surgery.

Because both the procedure and the travel costs to America are expensive, Rael appreciated that it would be much better to use the money raised to build a surgical clinic where volunteer doctors and nurses would surgically repair the clitorises of thousands of mutilated victims in a “Pleasure Hospital”. The location of the first hospital is in West Africa, near the town of Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso. It is a poor country with a population of almost sixteen million located immediately to the north of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo. The two largest cities are Ouagadougou, which is the capital, and Bobo-Dioulasso.

The Pleasure Hospital

About 10-15 km south-southwest of Bobo-Dioulasso are the villages of Matourkou and Kuinna. In May 2008 the chiefs of these two villages granted Clitoraid’s local arm, DELTE AVFE (meaning: Association for Female Blossoming) freehold title to a 2000 m² (half acre) plot of land located between the two villages, in return Clitoraid is to provide local GP services from the clinic.

Clitoraid assembled an international team to design and supervise the construction of the hospital and, despite the difficulties of financing such an incredible project, the clinic’s main building was completed in 2011. Komkasso Hospital contains an operating theatre, a laboratory, an infirmary, a sterilization room, offices for the surgeons and head nurse, reception and waiting areas, two consultation rooms for doctors, a conference/training room, and laundry, kitchen and public washrooms.

2012 has seen the completion of the electrical meter room, main storehouse, the flammable goods store and an enclosure for the back-up generator, and the guard’s accommodation is also almost complete. The in-country team will then focus on completing the hospital surrounds, which includes the construction of the perimeter fencing, car park, driveways and landscaping.

At the same time the international project team have concentrated on locating suitable donors and suppliers for the required medical and non-medical equipment, stores and furniture, and on working out how best to transport it to Bobo Dioulasso. Some progress has been made on securing donated equipment, but at this stage the exact items to be donated and their quantity and quality are still uncertain. The alternative of purchasing the equipment and supplies is not an option until sufficient funds have been raised.

We need your help! This can be by joining Clitoraid as a volunteer fundraiser, or by making a donation, or both! Whichever way you choose you will be helping FGM victims to regain their lives and contributing to the end of FGM.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: The struggle against Female Genital Mutilation

تشرين الثاني 21 2012, تصنيف: Clitoraid NEWS
Clitoraid organizes silent march to support.

People around the world will support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s ‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women’ campaign, but each and every year another three million young girls have their sexual organs cut out by the horrific tribal practice known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Since 2007 Clitoraid, the international charity dedicated to opposing FGM, has supported this important day.

«All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights», first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This should included “The ‘right of the body’ declared Sylvie Chabot, head of Clitoraid-Canada, meaning that the integrity, dignity and autonomy of their bodies should not be violated against their will. Obviously, performing FGM on innocent young girls is totally contrary to all human rights.”

Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports, ‘some 165 million women and girls worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM.’ About 92 million of these live in Africa, but with increased immigration in recent years this practice has now spread to the west.

Clitoraid is a private non-profit organism founded in 2006 following an idea launched by Raël, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement. The principal goal of this organization is to raise funds to help african women by allowing them to choose to have inexpensive surgery that repairs the mutilations, restores physical pleasure.
Chabot explains, “Dr. Pierre Foldes, a French surgeon of Hungarian origin, developed this surgical procedure, commonly known as FGM Reversal, 25 years ago. He then taught it to many doctors world wide. Together these remarkable surgeons are, thanks to science, able to help FGM victims to recover their dignity and pleasure.”

Clitoraid has responded to this challenge by raising over US$300,000 to construct a small surgical hospital dedicated to FGM reversal near the town of Bobo Dioulasso in the central West African country of Burkina Faso. Komkasso Hospital, meaning ‘the women’s house’ is nearing completion and, if funding can continue to be raised, should open in 2013.

“It doesn’t matter whether people contribute much, what counts is their determination, according to their means, to help these women and to end this barbaric practice and to allow these cruelly treated women to experience the pleasure that should always have been theirs,” concluded Sylvie Chabot.

In order to oppose firmly FGM, rape, wife beating and all other forms of violence against women,

Canadian branch of Clitoraid will organised “Silent March” in Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto,

Sunday November 25th.

QUÉBEC : 1h30 - Place d’Youville, at the St-Jean door

MONTRÉAL : 1h00 - Square Philip park , in front of La Baie store

OTTAWA : 1h00 - Angle of street Rideau and Cumberland

TORONTO : 2h00 - Angle of Yonge NO and Queen streets

Clitoraid-Canada "silent marches" in support of International day of the elimination of violence against women on november 25th

تشرين الثاني 15 2012, تصنيف: Clitoraid NEWS
November 25th the International day for the elimination of violence against women adopted the General Assembly of UNO December 17, 1999.

Among the types of the violence against women, the most violent is undoubtedly the excision: "female genital mutilation" (FGM).
A study made public in October 2007, by the "Institut national d'études démographiques" (INED), indicates that between 100 and 140 millions women underwent sexual mutilation in the world. Let us point out the many medical and psychological consequences related to these practices - infections, sterility, childbirth difficulties, anxiety and depression.

Clitoraid, a non-profit organization world wide joins all national and international organizations in supporting this international day for the elimination of violence against women.

Some "silent marches" will take place Sunday November 25th, 2012.

Toronto at 2PM = Corner of North West Yonge St & Queen St
Ottawa at 1pm = Corner of Rideau street and Cumberland
Montreal at 1pm = Square Phillips - in front of La Baie
Quebec at 1:30pm = Place Youville at the St-John door

Clitoraid supports african women in recovering their right to pleasure, dignity and femininity.

Join us !

Elected representatives in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries step up cooperation against the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)

تشرين الأول 01 2012, تصنيف: International NEWS
September 2012 – Parliamentarians from Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Togo met in Ouagadougou on 5 September to discuss the problem of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in their country, particularly in border areas. For several years now, Burkina Faso has been a pioneer in Africa in trying to stamp out the excision of women and young girls, a practice that has been illegal since 1996. However, FGM/C persists and prevalence is still greater than 75 percent in several areas, particularly in several border zones.

Supported by AWEPA, the European Parliamentarians with Africa Association, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund, and following the activities organised in April this year, the parliamentarians from Burkina Faso, Mali and other neighbouring countries wished to further examine the question of transborder excision, identified as one of the reasons the practice persists. Mali shares a long border with Burkina Faso and other countries in the region, and, to date, has still not adopted a law against FGM/C, despite the efforts made in this direction by the network of Malian parliamentarians to combat violence against women. The absence of a law in Mali encourages people to cross the border to carry out excision. These borders are often open with very little control. The Belgian Senator and member of AWEPA, Mrs Dominique Tilmans, also taking part in this activity, broached the issue of excision in immigrant communities in Europe and, in several of her interventions, emphasised the need to continue awareness raising efforts, the crucial role of the parliamentarians as opinion leaders, but also the role of the media in this struggle, as well as the necessity of raising the awareness of men, given their role as head of the family and decision-makers within society.

After the attending MPs had exchanged experience and points of view, the meeting led to the adoption of a series of recommendations with a view to boosting the action of the parliamentarians against FMG/C, particularly pertaining to the cross-border phenomenon. From the point of view of the legislation, the parliamentarians recommended, among other things, that specific laws be adopted in the countries which don’t yet have any; that the texts be translated into the national languages and widely disseminated; that the networks of parliamentarians combating violence against women in the different countries be institutionalised, and cooperation encouraged between these groups for enhanced harmonisation of the national legislations; and that the involvement of regional organisations such as UEMOA and ECOWAS be sought, to facilitate the harmonising of the texts through directives. In terms of concrete action in the border areas, the parliamentarians also recommended that parliamentary focal points be set up in the border locations; the setting up of vigilance committees in the border villages be encouraged; periodic consensus frameworks be created at the borders and awareness raising actions be implemented and pursued in the border communities and areas.

The Bourkinan parliamentarians and the AWEPA team then went to Yatenga province on 6 and 7 September, to continue awareness raising operations at the level of the community. Two public audiences were organised in the villages of Zogoré and Sissamba in the municipality of Ouahigouya, with the support of two civil society organisations, the associations AMMIE and Santé Plus. The Burkinan MPs and the European parliamentarian, with the aid of audiovisual materials, spent a long time discussing the question with local population groups, to exchange information about the harmful effects of the practice, the contents and provisions of the law against mutilation, and the role of individuals – men, women, traditional chiefs and religious leaders – within family and community. Several people gave testimony – fathers, mothers, children and former excisers – in turn told of their experiences as a consequence of the practice which were often very hard or even tragic. In addition to the showing of an awareness raising film, a forum-stage play highlighted the ins and outs of FGM/C practices, consolidating the awareness raising efforts of the communities visited.

This activity was organised within the scope of AWEPA’s programme called “The role of parliamentarians in the abandonment of FGM/C”.

Photo: MPs discuss the approach chosen for awareness raising in the villages
إذهب للصفحة   <<        >>