“Nobody should have to go through what I’ve gone through. That is why Iadvocate for Zero Tolerance for FGM”, Jillo Fugicha from Marsabit.
On February 6, 2023, the ‘International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation’ we observed. This day provides an opportunity for governments, member states, civil society organizations, development partners, activists, and other relevant stakeholders to raise awareness, renew commitments, and reiterate that female genital mutilation is an unacceptable harmful practise that violates the basic human rights of women and girls.
In honour of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation,Jillo Fugicha of Kenya MenEngage Alliance tells her FGM story.
My name is Jillo Fugicha, and I am from Marsabit, Kenya. I am an IT specialist by profession, a human rights defender by passion, and a survivor of FGM. I went through FGM at the age of 10. I can vividly remember what happened to me, and every time I want to talk about it, I remember the incident.
The fact that I have been cut twice for the worst type of FGM is the third type of infibulation. They tied me with a rope, they put my legs apart as usual because that is the procedure they do to all the girls, they started removing all the parts of the genetalia, including the labia majora and minora, and even they sowed it with a thorn, and they put charcoal and goat faeces in it so that it can heal, and I went through the pain of bleeding, shock, trauma, and a lot of infection, and I stayed at home for a while. I was
unable to urinate and had a lot of pus in my abdomen. The infibulation pass and urine to
go through I was put on antibiotics.
When they began mutilating me, I felt a lot of pain because I couldn’t shout or complain because when this happens, there are those who put a piece of cloth in your mouth, there are those who hold your hands tight, and there are those who press your legs down, then the cutter proceeds to mutilate you. It was very painful; I don’t want to flashback.
The most painful part is when you want to pee; the urine comes out in drops for about two hours, and you can’t pee well because your vagina itches. During that time, there was no one to rescue me, and there was no form of medication that was administered to me when the act was being performed. I had to endure the pain. That also really affected my psychology.
Now I am using my platform to help my community by distributing sanitary pads. As a survivor, the strategy is that all survivors should be given a platform because they are the ones who went through the cut or pain at the same time and should be motivated and supported.
Nobody should have to go through what I’ve gone through. That is why I advocate for Zero Tolerance for FGM.
We must embrace the voices of young people. If they say, We won’t cut our daughters, it will end. I am looking forward to a generation where we will have zero FGM without much effort.