I went through female genital cutting (FGC) when I was a young girl. I still remember the day it happened to me. There were about 50 of us girls, laughing, dancing and singing – we were initially told it was a celebration. We were then taken into a room where one by one, and each one of us was cut without anaesthetic – I remember the blood and the pain. I felt betrayed. Betrayed by my community, but most of all, by my mother.
For years, I wondered why my mother had allowed this to happen. It was not until someone explained to me that she didn’t have a choice: she was not cutting me to harm me, but because she felt that she was doing what was the best for me.