Female genital mutilation continues as change comes slowly

February 06, 2018 - 5:07 am

BEKARREDAR, Ethiopia (AP) — Campaigners on Tuesday are marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation. Nearly 200 million women around the world live with its effects, the United Nations says.

In Ethiopia, as many as three-quarters of women and girls live with the painful and sometimes life-threatening practice. One hospital deep in the Afar desert region struggles to help them.

Here, many girls undergo the removal of external genitalia and sewing-up of their vagina before they reach their first birthday.

Addu Abdala Dubba used to perform circumcisions. It gave her a sense of purpose. She thought it helped women remain faithful in marriage.

But after attending government trainings, she says "I now understand this practice is wrong and it can destroy a child's future."

Now she is a midwife instead.

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