Tanzania: female genital circumcisers receive cow tails for every cut
A former female genital circumciser has revealed that she undertook the practice in Tanzania in order to receive money and the tail of a cow.
Martha Daud told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that “I was selected by the older women to do it because I was seen as being bold,”
According to the Reuters news agency, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was a rite of passage Daud had watched numerous girls undergo and the community valued the old women who wielded the razor blades, especially those who didn’t kill too many girls.
The 59-year-old grandmother recounted her initiation into the illegal practice in Tanzania’s northern Kilimanjaro region saying “When I cut a girl I would receive (money)… and be given a tail of the cow that had been slaughtered to eat as part of the celebration.”
Daud earned 30,000 Tanzanian shillings ($13) for each cut. She no longer engages in the practice when she “realized it is a sin and now I pray for God to forgive me.”
FGM, is the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia. In many occasions girls bleed to death or become infected while some live with complications during child birth later in life.
Almost 8 million Tanzanian women and girls are believed to have undergone FGM.