Protecting Girls from Primitive Rites: Hazards of Female Circumcision and the launching of Fire Eyes: A Documentary Film by Soraya Mire Somaliland Cyberspace

Protecting Girls from Primitive Rites: Hazards of Female Circumcision and the launching of Fire Eyes: A Documentary Film by Soraya Mire

Maroodi Jeex: A Somaliland Alternative Newsletter
Issue number 6 (September/November 1997)


There is no other man-made health problem that comes close to damaging health than the female circumcion.

Female genital mutilation can create intense physiological and psychological impact on women, causing immense pain and death in many causes. A woman's sexual life is drastically changed and childbirth becomes complicated after the procedures. There is always a high probability of transmission of HIV/AIDS. The custom is encouraged because of the attitude of men who refuse to marry a girl unless she is excised.


The immediate complications of circumcision are: hemorrhage of major blood vessels; severe pain from lack of anaesthesia; damage to the urethral meatus, Bartholin's glands, and even the perineum and rectum; anaemia from blood loss; urinary tract infections due to the use of unsterilized equipment and dressings; bladder and kidney pyelonephritis are common when urinary tract infections go untreated; renal failure, septicemia and death are the devastating consequences; pain and fear associated with it can lead to acute urinary retention, as can trauma to the urethra; pelvic inflammatory disease (infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes), excruciatingly painful and can render a woman infertile; fatal shock from loss of blood; infections of the external genitalia, vagina and ovaries; and arthritis.

The long-term complications include chronic urinary retention, due to the complete sealing off the vaginal orifice; Hematocolpos, the accumulation of menstrual blood in the vagina (a number of documented cases of swollen lower abdomen are known to have been mistaken for out-of-wedlock pregnancies and women in such painful misfortune were put to death); prolonged and painful labor results from accumulated scarring, as fibrous vulvar tissue fails to dilate during contraction; Hemorrhage during childbirth often result from tearing through scar tissue or through the cervix or perineum; rapture of the vagina, which is seen during delivery, leads to fistulae with rectum or bladder, causing life-long incontinence; lack of experiencing of sexual pleasure during coitus; dyspareunia, painful coitus; chronic pelvic infection and the highest mortality rates in childbirth are reported from areas where infibulation are done.

A New Educational Product

Fire Eyes, one of the best known documentary films on Female circumcision confronts this ancient ritual and exposes the myths surrounding it. This film sheds much light on the socio-cultural circumstances surrounding the ritual.

For more information about this product, contact Soraya Mire, Persistent Productions, 235 E. Colorado Blvd.#1363, Pasadena, CA 91101, telephone (818) 766-8141].