A large number of immigrants entering the United Kingdom have unwittingly forced British lawmakers to take action against the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation. This practice which is out of place in today’s modern world is unfortunately still very rampant. A majority of the girls undergo this indescribable horror by the tender age of five. There are no anesthetics. Though the practice is outlawed in the United Kingdom, it still runs rampant in its original countries, primarily in Africa. The conditions in Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan are extremely severe, with up to 98 percent of the women having undergone the horrific procedure. Apart from Africa, the practice also exists in the Middle East to some extent. It is however extremely popular in immigrant communities from these countries in other developed countries like the United Kingdom. This terrible practice is done on the pretext that it will help the girls to grow into disciplined women with excellent prospects for marriage. Being performed at an age when the girls are too young to even understand why they are being mutilated, it leaves them with recurring nightmares, extensive psychological damage and lifelong trauma.
Many people wonder what the United Kingdom can do if the practice is not carried out in United Kingdom. Generally, the immigrant communities take their daughters to their home countries during the nefariously named ‘cutting season’ when they are assumed to be of a suitable age. The genital mutilation is then carried out there to avoid any nuisance related to laws. What’s really disheartening is that many African countries where female genital mutilation is carried out, it is illegal. However, due to extremely lax implementation of the law, it is immaterial. People carry out female genital mutilations without any fear or hesitancy. The immigrant girls who undergo the traumatic procedure typically study in schools in the United Kingdom and often get citizenship of the United Kingdom too. Their experience however makes it very difficult for them to adjust in a modern society and live a normal happy life.
An interesting case in point is that of Leyla Hussein, a British citizen who is an immigrant having undergone the horror. She was only seven when four family members cruelly pinned her down and proceeded to mutilate her genitals. She is now thirty three years old and works as a psychotherapist in London. She explains the gravity of the situation. The problem is that the belief that female genital mutilation is necessary is rooted deep within society. The women of the countries where it is practiced are some of the most ardent supporter of the practice. This makes it extremely difficult to combat. According to Leyla, unless the mothers speak up against the practice, it is impossible to stop it. However, she does believe that the United Kingdom can work to dissuade other parents from inflicting this terror upon their daughters. She believes stricter laws which award extreme punishments to parents who mutilate their daughters could act as a deterrent to the practice at least in the immigrant communities in Britain.