Human rights issues, no matter how taboo they may be, must be addressed through education, discourse, and dialogue. Kadi Doumbia, a survivior of Femal Gential Mutilation (FGM), shares her experience on the physical and psychological trauma of being violated as a child. She has now dedicated her life committed to advocacy and activism to end the practice of FGM on a global scale. This story was recorded in partnership with MALA and StoryCorps.
“My name is Khatija Doumbia. I go by the name Kadi. I am from Mali. I was born and raised over there all the way to the age of 18. I left my country when I was 18 years old. Traveled to Europe and fast-forward, came to the United States about 24 years ago. I live in Chicago right now. I grew up in a very big, polygamous family. I had four moms in the family. My father had four wives and that’s where I was raised. Tough for me.
And from what I understand, like in my country, FGM, which is female genital mutilation, is not illegal. It’s still going on. My hope is that, of course, we have to have education around this subject and we have to have an open conversation about this subject because nobody talks about FGM, nobody does. And when they do, when we do talk about FGM, nobody stresses on the fact that you are taking something from somebody. The true meaning of FGM is not understood. People are still confused. They don’t know why it’s done or they think they do know why it’s done, but there is no law around it. If you do this to a girl, you can’t be arrested, the government is not doing enough. If we can find a way to educate people, about not only the physical pain, not only the physical pain, because I don’t remember my physical pain. It’s the psychological pain that stays with you forever, ever until you die.”