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The nightmare of female circumcision

05 August 2014 / 14:08:56  GRReporter
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They are many and unfortunately fatal in the majority of the cases. We describe precisely them in most of the film. Those of the women who do not die from haemorrhage during the ritual have sexual dysfunction, complications during the first birth, and the mortality rate is very high in both mothers and babies.

Footage of the school in the film trailer shows a teacher explaining to the girls that they can choose whether to undergo circumcision or not. Does this choice exist in practice?

Yes, they can choose. Some to a greater extent, others to a lesser, but they can choose. Those girls who decide to attend school have significant chances to refuse to undergo circumcision because there they become aware of the consequences of circumcision on their health, safety and the right of choice. In addition, some girls run away from home to avoid it.

During the filming at the school in Churo village the door opened and two girls aged 12 and 13, who had just fled their homes, entered the room. They had found out that their families were preparing their marriages and this means that they would have to undergo circumcision before that. Therefore, they had decided to escape. They had walked 15 km in the savannah alone, taking the risk of being attacked by wild animals such as lions for instance. When they arrived at the school they wanted to be admitted to the boarding-house. How courageous must a 12-year-old girl be to do all this?

Based on this experience, how can this practice be permanently stopped in your opinion?

With training at schools, education ... and social campaigns on the part of the governments of the countries that practise it.

It can be stopped by opening the minds of people, by interrupting the beliefs that hinder their development. I mean of both women and men, because in order for them to live in harmony they have to break with all beliefs and to understand all the consequences of this tradition on a family. Otherwise we will take one step forward and two steps back and we will not be able to talk about progress.

All suffer from the health problems of Chemoyo, in the first place her herself and her siblings, her husband and children...

Why did you make this film? What was your goal?

To make the public aware of female circumcision, to engage it and alert t about some beliefs of people, their origin, the role they play in our lives, whether we filter them and how, which ones we preserve, which ones hinder our development and would be better rejected, wherever we live on planet Earth, in whatever culture we are raised.

We all have beliefs. Thousands, millions of religious, social, family, personal beliefs ...

We did not make the film to condemn the beliefs and customs of people or society, but to understand the conditions that support this "extreme" custom and to show its consequences on people's lives. And through it to understand how some of our beliefs are very outdated and act destructively or hinder the life of each of us, even if they are not as extreme as female circumcision is.

What are your next plans? Are you working on documentaries on social issues or are you interested in other topics?

Each topic or proposal that attracts my attention and interest regardless of the way of expression, including a documentary, advertisement, fiction, broadcast, series or video, may become one of my next works. If it contains this "thing" that frantically induces my heart to tell it.

Tags: SocietyFemale circumcisionKenyaDocumentaryExcisionVicki Vellopoulou
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