Wednesday, April 15, 2009

FGM again

The Nigerian ambassador to Ireland is in denial about the prevalence of FGM back home. I've mentioned this before on this blog: the government's own statistics shows just how wrong Kemafo Chikwe is. To save you the bother of clicking on the link to the National Bureau of Statistics' 2006 survey findings, here they are again:

Total: 32.6%
Rural: 29%
Rural poor: 27.8%
Urban: 40%
Urban poor: 43.7%

Regional breakdown:

North-East: 1.7%
North-West: 2.0%
North-Central: 14.5%
South-East: 58.3%
South-West: 65.0%
South-South: 46.7%

Note: the margin error is set at 0.6%


Anonymous,  12:01 am  

Oh my God, i did not realise it was so prevalent in the north central region. I am dumbfounded by the prevelance in the south.

I'm from the north east and always found it surprising when people said this was common practice in the north. I had to ask my mum after a talk in school where the teacher (a yoruba man) kept glancing at me as he spoke. I can honestly say that all my yoruba and igbo friends were of the assumption that this ONLY happened in the north and amoungst muslims... very interesting to see the statistics especially from the south-south!

I guess this practice really is rooted in traditional African cultures rather than any religious beliefs.

I do wish better statistics were kept thou, as I am not sure if this isnt grossly exergerated in the south.

Frankly, I am quite surprised we have up to 1.7% in the north east. Never heard or it, never seen it, do not know a single person that knows any female who has been circumcised.

Anonymous,  2:46 am  

It is practiced in the South-West (Am from there so I know). All the daughters on momise's side of the family are circumcised but not sure if the same is true for popise's side.

Me, am mad at them for denying the women their right to enjoy sex. Which kind wickedness be that one?

Anonymous,  9:53 am  

the practice needs to stop but folks need to stop saying it's because we seek to deny women their right to sex. women, like men, are circumcised, but the effect on women is damaging and these unaware folks need to know this so they stop it. but i think the evil intent attributed to the, needs to stop because its not true.

Anonymous,  8:20 pm  

@ Anonymous 9:35am -> Not having your clit, reduces the joy of sex. And from what I know, one of the reasons the elder women in the community give for this practice is that it curbs the young lady's drive for sex. Hence why most people think/believe that circumcised women do not derive as much joy from sex (or have as high a sex drive) as those who aren't.

Not sure if it's true or not, but if you have any research that says otherwise, I would like to read and be better informed (and am not being sarcastic)

Anonymous,  12:18 am  

Oh come on folks, be critical. 65% of SW women circumcised. That can't be right. I've only ever met one Yoruba woman who is circumcised and she seemed to enjoy sex well enough

Wale,  10:26 am  

The blogger should judge from reactions to his blogs on the topic. Everyone is shocked by the finding. I think these stats are completely ridiculous. As far as I know, in Yorubaland, only the Ekitis practice it, and even then it's optional and far from widespread.

GeeqCza 2:15 pm  

im a bayelsan i've never met any women that doesn't have a clit,even in rivers state,it might be pratised but i feel its greatly exergerated,even if that's the case its a barbaric practise

Jeremy 4:39 pm  

So GeeqCza: tell me, is it a custom for all men in Bayelsa/Rivers, when they meet a woman, to first of all inspect to see whether they have a clitoris or not?


Controversial Anon 9:11 pm  

lol, can't stop laughing.

I am Nigerian, I am a man. I haven't had sex with any circumcised girls, and I muff dive, so there. I do not know anyone who knows any girl who has been circumcised.

I think the blogger should admit that Kema Chikwe is right after all. These FGM figures are bullshit (no surprise there), and at best are exaggerated by Nigerian Health officials to attract UN/Donor funds.

Or maybe the blogger knows personally a Nigerian girl/woman who has been circumcised?

GeeqCza 3:36 pm  

@ Jeremy,LOL,nice one, on the real tho havent met.

Anonymous,  8:35 pm  

So many thinks are running through my mind a this point.

For example, how many Nigerian men actually enough time down there to know if their kokolettes are circumcised or not? Afterall, we seem very proud of the fact that we don't do oral.

On the other hand, I would like to know how the stats for this study was complied. I find it hard to believe that Nigerian women were that willing to talk about their clits ... openly and to strangers no less?

Anonymous,  11:00 pm  

I rarely (if ever) agree with the Nigerian govt on anything, but I must confess that (based solely on my personal experiences living in Nigeria all of my life), the 40% figure seem ridiculously unrealistic -- particularly for a practice that is virtually non-existent in several parts of the country.

Anonymous,  11:24 am  

@Jeremy, this is beyond ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder about a lot of these presumably bright people who come up with these stats. I mean, what is the sampling population? What Yoruba people did they sample?

A friend of mine, who works for the UN, once told me that 90+% of Rwandan women are HIV+. Without having to look into any book, I told him immediately that this is simply impossible. His defence was that during the genocide, rape had been used as a weapon of war, spreading HIV at an alarming rate. I told him immediately that the sample populace must have been heavily skewed, and any data collected cannot be applied to the general populace. Turns out the "data" had been gathered in some shelter for TB patients. The oyinbo compilers, unable to speak Kinyarwanda and too lazy to find a translator, had not bothered to question the 'facts' before their very own eyes. Worse, they had gone on to extrapolate - whether out of malice, ignorance or a rare combination of both - applying data from a single shelter in Rwanda to the entire populace.

Mind you, this happens in many places. Once about 2 years ago, I read a claim that about 60% of American mothers would choose not to have kids if they could make that decision again. I knew immediately this was untrue. Turns out the 'data' had bee collected from a radio show where the interviewer had asked callers "If you are exasperated with parenthood, let us know what your kids did wrong".

So, of course, the people who called in were frustrated mothers, who probably had to wrestle the phone away from their bratty kids just to get the chance to rant and rave and vent to the talk show host. Such a skewed populace is not a reflection of the truth.

If stats really suggest that 65% of Yoruba women have been through circumcision, there are a number of possible mistakes that could have happened.

1) Heavily skewed populace: e.g. at a shelter for women who have been through this. I know of no such shelter in Nigeria, so I immediately dismiss this.
2) Wayo on the part of Nigerian Health Officials in order to attract better funding. This is most likely the answer.
3) Wrong positioning of decimal point. 0.6% is far more reasonable than the ridiculous 65%.

In any case, Jeremy, nkem, I am sure you have been alarmed about these stats. No need to worry about them. They are not worth the bandwidth they take up. Pure unalduterated rubbish. Ewu.

Anonymous,  9:53 pm  

@ anonymous 9:53.
circumcision amongst men is advised for health reasons... and its also prevalent in religions of the world, islam, judaism etc. so its quite self explanatory.. but female circumcision is un heard of, not religiously supported and the person on which this is carried out is at risk of getting infected and even dying from the infection or excessive bleeding.

i dont see any humane reason why it is still being carried except that which is still being bandied around which is to reduce sexual pleasure in women in the beleif that she would not be promiscuous.

still our society becomes even more depraved by the minute... so what is the essence of this practice? really!!

Anonymous,  10:03 pm  

a lot of people seem to have taken the statistics personal.. nothing personal there.. the fact that u dont know about it happening in your area doesnt mean its not. afterall, u never know anything unless u look for it!

the only question i have and which someone already asked is how indeed the stats were compiled because i do not think nigerian women wud gladly talk about their genitalia, but come to think of it, in sunday sun, the column which they run every sunday called wivesline featured this circumsion question in one of their editions and quite a number of women answered yes to being circumsized and doing the same to their female kids so i dont think, in retrospect,these statistics are that far fetched.

lastly, there are different kinds of fGm, the most extensive one is the one in which the clitoris is removed which is practiced mostly in Somalia(see waris dirie).
so even if u find a clit on a woman it still doesnt mean she wasnt circumcized. her labia majora and or minora may be missing and if ure a wham! bam! thank u ma'am! kind of person, u might not notice em missing!

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