Kadi Doumbia
FGM Survivor/Activist

Female genital mutilation (FGM) affected me in every way I can think of. When my supporters think I am a courageous woman because I have been open to share my own experience with FGM, my thoughts go out to those who are still struggling or uncomfortable about sharing their own horror of FGM. I am aware many survivors have secrets about FGM and I am confident divulging that secret must be very painful for many survivors.

How can I undergo the lifelong horror of FGM and ever think of getting it done to my own girls? That thought never crossed my mind. Instead, I did everything in my power that I could have done to spare my girls from going through FGM. 

I believe one must sacrifice for her children regardless of criticisms. I remember people telling me I should be ashamed about my advocacy against FGM. I always thought that if there is something to be ashamed of, it is taking little girls and causing them unnecessary pain and suffering. 

FGM never made and will never make any sense to me and I have no doubt it’s child abuse and it’s wrong. For this reason, I decided to stand my ground against cutting my children.

What makes sense to me is seeing myself walking my healthy uncut girl, Fatima, down the aisle, blessing her, and handing her to her soon to be husband, Andrew Castro, knowing they will enjoy one another in every healthy way possible.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to see my uncut girl getting married to the young man of her choice, Andy Castro, and I wish them a lifetime of happiness!