L'excision, le règne du secret

NAIROBI – Petite fille dans un village du Kenya, j'étais secrètement fascinée par les mutilations sexuelles féminines. Influencée par mes amies ou mes aînées, j'étais convaincue qu'une fille n'accédait au respect et que les hommes adultes ne la jugeaient apte au mariage qu'après “la coupure.” C'est ainsi qu'à l'âge de 13 ans, je rêvais de me faire “exciser” pour devenir une “vraie femme.”

Quoiqu'il en soit, ma mère était contre cette coutume, parce qu'elle était chrétienne (elle l'est encore aujourd'hui) et qu'elle voulait que je fasse des études pour échapper au sort de nombreuses filles de ma communauté, qu'on marie à des hommes âgés et qu'on prive ainsi de toute autonomie. J'essayai d'amener ma mère à autoriser mon excision, en vain.

Le refus de ma mère me fit enrager. Toute contrariée, j'en parlai à quelques filles de l'école. Chacune avait sa version de la chose, mais toutes tombaient d'accord sur un point: c'était extrêmement douloureux et il fallait que je m'attende à beaucoup saigner. Et pourtant, ces mêmes amies me poussaient à me faire exciser.

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