Soroptimist International is delighted to introduce you to Sadia Hussein, Kenya, an ambitious and accomplished young woman, and one of our SI Road to Equality #SoroptimistSix. So vital on our Road to Equality – your support of the President’s Appeal, 2019-2021 will empower Sadia and others in their work within their own countries at the grassroots level, to End Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Marriage.
“I was cut at the age of 10 years.
I was very excited before.
There was stigma attached to being uncut,
at school and at home.
I knew I would be ‘clean’ and join other girls without stress.
I was never told what awaited me until…
Very early one morning, it was dark, cold and I was in the bush.
My mom and ten other women – relatives and neighbours held me down,
and my grandma cut my genitalia. No anaesthesia, no painkiller, no sympathy.
I was shocked. I didn’t expect this.
A woman put a piece of cloth in my mouth and held my head down.
Others held my shoulders, legs.
One on my chest pressing me down, another directing the cutter.
I heard the blade going left, right and centre.
I was helpless, couldn’t scream, or stop.
After the blood loss, pain, shivering, fever, and stress,
I asked my mother, why Mom? “This is what you wanted” she replied.
The pressure from girls, from women, and from the community,
did I give this to myself just to be perfect and clean??
After healing, I went back to school… Life went on.
But a lot of questions were running through my mind. Is this right?
How does cutting my Genitalia make me clean?
Why did mom subject me to all the pain?
Why didn’t she tell me that it’s painful, so that I could make a choice?
Why, why, why is she silent?
Later, I thought the stress was over.
I got married. The pain came back after deinfibulation.
I then said, now it’s over, because I was reopened.
No more pain.
I conceived and was back to my mother’s house for delivery.
The pain started afresh.
What is this?
After a three-day labour pain, one traditional birth attendant calling another,
and then another, cutting me anyhow.
I gave birth to a girl ~ Maryam.
I asked my mother why?
“We all endured this pain. Are you different? You are just a coward” she said.
My third child Naimah was born in June 2009,
the pain followed me, but I campaigned hard.
I gained my first supporter – the District commissioner.
My Dad was the second,
my husband the third.
I now have three daughters.
I decided to protect them.
No Cut, Mutilation or FGM – whatever you wish to call it.
I train and educate cutters, to better understand the realities of FGM.
I share my personal experience.
Today I have two #FGMFreevillages.
They act as a benchmark for what can be.
I founded the DayaaGroup in 2013 – 20 survivors with different, unique stories.
It ENDS with me.
Let it End with me.
Please follow Sadia on Twitter to keep up with her latest work @SadearH
Please donate through your federation to the SI Road to Equality Appeal 29019-2021 to support Sadia and the other five youth activists in their work to #EndFGM