Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 20 females have undergone some form of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The more you know about the trauma FGM can cause, the more shocking that statistic becomes. SAT-7 is fighting against this life-destroying practice by spreading the anti-FGM message in Iran, where many nationals don’t even know that it is practised.
The practice of FGM stems from a belief that a woman must be circumcised in order to be “pure”. It is an unquestioned rite of passage in many communities, and mothers often encourage their daughters to undergo it.
Psychologist Dr Javaheri (pictured), appearing recently on the SAT-7 PARS talk show Insiders, comments on how damaging this dynamic is. “When girls face emotional distress at a young age they turn to [their mothers]. But where can the victims of FGM go? Where can they find refuge?”
Dr Javaheri speaks plainly of the harm that FGM causes. “It is nothing but torture and abuse that will stay in the subconscious of the girl for a very long time. If the relationship between mother and daughter is formed in the midst of such an extremely violent event, what is this relationship destined for?”
The physical consequences are usually terrible too; lots of amateur surgeons cause “serious infection and permanent harm” to the victims.
Several countries need to hear Dr Javaheri’s message urgently.
SAT-7 PARS’ focus on the topic complements the advocacy of SAT-7 ARABIC, which has long worked to challenge the practice in countries where FGM is more widespread. In Egypt, for example, 87 percent of women have undergone FGM.
“Although laws have been put in place, the mindset has not yet changed,” says SAT-7 ARABIC Programming Manager George Makeen. “There has been an improvement, but the majority [in Egypt] still practise FGM. This is why we need to campaign against this horrific practice continually.”
- Pray that God would use psychologist Dr Javaheri to raise awareness of FGM and tackle the problems it creates.
- Pray for girls in the MENA whose mothers have insisted on their undergoing FGM. Ask God to heal their hearts, bodies and relationships.
- “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV). Pray that a revelation of this truth would sweep through Christian communities in the MENA.