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Whenever other women talked about their sexual escapades, Naomi* always wondered what an orgasm felt like. The possibility of getting one was robbed from her when she was put through female genital mutilation (FGM) at age 14.
Now at the entrance of the Karen Hospital in Nairobi, she stands at the door of opportunity that may restore what was violently taken away from her. Clitoraid, a non-profit organisation based in the US, has pitched tent at the hospital to offer clitoris restorative surgeries for free.
The Kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2014 shows that 21 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.
Nine per cent underwent the most severe form where the genital area is sewn shut after being cut off. To restore the clitoris which is normally 11 centimetres long, with only five per cent cut off even in the worst case of FGM, the remaining part of the clitoris which is buried in the body is brought to the surface.
The restoration of sexual pleasure is possible because the entire clitoris is sensory, not just the amputated portion. “Sensation is lost because the amputated portion retracts and gets covered by scar tissue. The clitoris is shortened but not removed. The restoration surgery exposes the clitoral stump.
Then, with plastic surgery, we are able to bring the exposed portion to the surface and even create new labia minora using the surrounding skin. The newly exposed portion is then able function,” said Dr Marci Bowers, Clitoraid’s gynaecological surgeon, who has operated on the women with the help of Kenyan plastic surgeon Dr Abdullahi Adan.
“Women orgasm for the first time in their lives after this,” she added. By Wednesday last week, more than 20 women had been operated on at Mama Lucy Hospital in Nairobi, and more women queued silently at the Karen Hospital waiting for surgery.
According to German newspaper Die Welt, Kepel said the terror group’s aim is to incite hatred towards Muslims from the rest of the society which would eventually radicalise others to the point that Europe could enter into full-blown civil war.
Kepel, who is a specialist on Islamic and contemporary Arab world, added these ISIS fanatics not only want to destroy Europe, but to eliminate more moderate Islamic opposition.
“The terrorism is above all an expression of a war within Islam,” he explained. “The long-term goal of the Jihad Generation is to destroy Europe through civil war and then build an Islamic society from the ashes.
He believes their strategy is similar to the expansion of Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, and Libya where the terrorist organisation was able to use the chaos of civil war to slowly build its forces, grow in power, and rapidly seize territory.
His comments come after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls revealed that 15,000 radicalised people are on police watchlist in the country.
Previously authorities said about 10,000 were identified as high-risk.
Valls warned: “There will be new attacks, there will be innocent victims…this is also my role to tell this truth to the French people.”
Paris has been on edge since a car loaded with gas cylinders was found near Notre Dame cathedral in an incident that could have been an attack, last week.
French anti-terror judges charged a woman over the failed assault.
The News Minute | Haritha John The 20-year-old Nepali speaking girl said she was thrashed for small mistakes by her employer. In the Malayalam movie Gaddama, Kavya Madhavan played the role of a domestic help trapped and tortured in an Arab's house in the Middle East. The character’s agony portrayed the life of many Malayalis who go abroad to earn a living, working in harsh conditions for a pittance.
But the reality is that the plight of some domestic helps is no different in Kerala.
On May 1, the police rescued a 20-year-old Nepali speaking woman from Vypeen in Ernakulam. Sarsu Halsan, who hails from Jalpaiguri , West Bengal was tracked down by the police based on a missing complaint filed by her employer on April 29.
“I had no parents, both of them died and I lived with my aunt. A distant cousin of mine brought me to Kochi when I was 16-year-old. I joined as a domestic help at this house,” Sarsu told The News Minute, outside Kalamassery police station.
Sarsu was working at the house of Kavita Nair*, in Kochi. “Before I joined she gave me Rs 3,500 and that was the only amount I received in the last four years. Initially she had told my cousin that I would be paid Rs 5,000 monthly. But I did not get any money,” Sarsu said.
But what was more intolerable for her was the physical torture she had to go through. “For even small mistakes I used to get thrashed. She hit me using sticks, hands, broom or some large spoons. She also banged me against the wall. I used to always end up bleeding,” Sarsu said, showing the scars on her hands.
“I ran away from the house to commit suicide. I did not want to live,” she said.
As Sarsu is led away by workers of a rescue home, she screams out, “She cut my hair forcefully, never allowed me to make calls or write a letter,”
What Sarsu described was only a small part of what she actually went through in the past four years. “There are scars from wounds all over her body, covered in blood clots. The torture was quite severe,” E V Shibu, Station House Officer at Kalamassery, said.
The police officer said that Sarsu had been trying to escape from the house for the past four years but was not successful because she was always locked up.
“On April 29 she managed to lock up her employer and her daughter inside a room and ran away from the house. She went to a beach near Njarackal hoping to die. She stayed in a house nearby, and somebody informed us about her. We went and picked her from there,” the officer said.
Kavita claims that she had paid Sarsu’s salary to a relative of hers in Jalpaiguri. Sarsu was brought to work as a domestic help when she was still a minor, which means that the employer can charged under the Juvenile Justice Act. Kavita can also be charged under the act for harassment.
“We should confirm the date when the girl was brought in for the work and also need to get more evidence before registering the arrest,” the police officer said.
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