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Woman Flees Nigeria To Canada To Escape Female Genital Mutilation


A Nigerian woman has fled the country to Winnipeg, Canada, to help her daughters escape Female Genital Mutilation.

According
to CBC.ca , the woman’s father-in-law had insisted that the woman’s
first daughter must undergo FGM when she was just a few months old. That
procedure almost led to the death of the baby.

To avoid the same
from happening to her other children, the woman who is currently
pregnant with triplets sought refuge outside the shores of the country.

CBC
quoted a lawyer, Bashir Khan, who assisted the woman in obtaining a
refugee status in Canada as saying, the woman was forced into vehicle
and driven to a rural area where she couldn’t bear to stay and watch
while her first daughter was forcibly mutilated.

FGM, also known
as female circumcision, involves removing all or part of the femalecore
as well as, often, the labia to make young girls appear “more virginal.”

In
the case of the woman’s first daughter, “they cut off too much of her
femalecore, and she nearly died from the infection,” said Khan.

When
she became pregnant with triplets – all female – the woman was told she
could have the procedure done on the babies when they were born or
abort them, Khan added.

Instead, she fled Nigeria, and arrived in Canada in November 2015, when she was 29 weeks pregnant.

“It was pretty hard for her to get refugee status,” said Khan.

She was assigned Khan as a lawyer by legal aid, who assembled the documents for her refugee status claim.

But
in January, Khan uncovered a letter alleging the woman was involved in
FGM and thereby aggravated assault on her first daughter.

“The
minister’s consul – that is the minister of citizenship and immigration
here in Winnipeg — wrote a scathing four-page letter calling my client a
bad mother and saying my client should not be able to make a refugee
claim,” said Khan. “Statistics tell us that ministerial interventions in
the last few years have skyrocketed in the past few years.”

Khan said there was no evidence that that had taken place.

“That was something that sat uncomfortably with me, my client and the board member who heard the case,” he said.

Khan called the statements disturbing and traumatising for his client.

“This
is a horrible cultural practice. The purpose of FGM is to discourage
sexual promiscuity and to promote chastity,” said Khan. “Parents subject
their daughters to FGM based on the social belief that a young woman
who refuses to undergo this will have difficulty in labour or will be
unfaithful to her husband.”

He said she was in a state of shock when he explained to her what was happening.
“She was just horrified,” he said. “It was a disturbing and uncomfortable moment. The room got really cold.”

Since then, the woman was granted refugee status.

According to Khan, the woman is currently doing well in Canada and hopes to raise her three daughters there.

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