A Facebook friend posted yet another story about a young Maasai girl expelled from high school after her sponsor (Soila Maasai Girls Rescue Centre) stopped funding her for allegedly having secretly undergone circumcision. Here is the story, as reported by the nation newspaper. Here is the same story on video.
Although the girl is now back to school thanks to the well wishers and the flexibility of her high school, there are so many things wrong with this story.
- What has circumcision got to do with it? Are we circumcising the brain now? Am not pro-circumcision(female/male), however I don’t understand why when a child is circumcised they are then ineligible to continue getting an education. Is there a co-relation between circumcision and intelligence or learning?
- Who gave sponsors permission to do a genital exam on children? There seems to be a human right/dignity issue here. This is the same sponsor that had it’s administrator arraigned in court last year for the same violations against children. Read the story here. Obviously there is a disconnect, lessons are not being learned or somehow this sponsor is above the law? We must protect the dignity of our children. Whether a child has been circumcised or not, they should not be shamed, ridiculed or denied their rights in any way.
- Given that this sponsor claims that their donors require that they examine these children makes me think, if true, that there is a major lack of understanding, a misconception if you will, about female circumcision on their part. Denying these children an education based on whether they are circumcised or not does not improve their lives nor hinder the practice. If anything it does the complete opposite which totally defeats the whole purpose of your donation! duh! And while we are trying to educate donors, just because you throw a few $$ to a cause doesn’t give you a right to make such de-humanizing demands on others, especially children!
- Lastly, when a girl is circumcised, she is likely not doing it of her own accord but that of her parents, most likely her father. So, it makes zero sense to punish her for something that she has no control over. Circumcision is traumatic enough without having to relive it as someone exams your scars in front of your peers and then promptly takes away your life line. NKT!!!
Bottom line, some practices cannot be justified anymore and must be put to rest. However, we must have empathy, understanding and compassion when dealing with those it has wrecked havoc on. We must propose alternatives and see them through without judgement.
On this, I just nod the nkwe! … then lean back and reflect.
It’s a puzzle, one that crisscrosses demands, economics, culture and morality.