The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Africa:
Genital Mutilation Ravages Women

Nov 8, 2010

This article is from the October 4th issue of Le Pouvoir aux Travailleurs (Workers Power), published by UATCI, a revolutionary workers’ organization active in Africa.

In Africa, there are an estimated 100 million women and girls who have been cut in the barbaric practice of genital mutilation. This practice is aimed at eliminating the possibility that women would feel any pleasure in sexual intercourse.

Some girls die from hemorrhages due to their wounds. Others are infected, endangering their health for years. If they survive, they still suffer, since problems in pregnancy may kill their baby. In each case, these women are wounded in their bodies and suffer irreversible harm from these mutilations.

Today the women carrying out these circumcisions use cell phones. A quick call and they come over. So barbarism can coexist with technical development. Science alone won’t get rid of this hideous practice.

These dangerous rites arise from the backwardness of society, from the moral and material misery that makes up the daily life of many women and also of men, especially in the countryside. In these times of crisis, there is an exodus to the cities, where the practice of genital mutilation continues.

The rich class and the intellectuals who rule us aren’t worried much about fighting this situation because they and their offspring are able to escape practices linked to backwardness. But these people also maintain ties with traditional chiefs and other dignitaries of past times who promote these harmful practices and who continue to exercise a certain authority in the rural areas while dragging society backward. It’s how government officials keep their own positions.

The struggle against the oppression of women and against its most barbarous expressions is inseparable from the struggle for an egalitarian society freed from every form of oppression and exploitation.