Sunday, January 08, 2017

Discrimination, mutilation & poverty

The dawn of socialism and the end of pre-history will see the long overdue demise of such barbaric cultural practices as female genital mutilation, which, according to one recent estimate, has claimed 200 million victims in 30 different countries.   Breast ironing is largely confined to Cameroon, but affects as many as one in four pubescent girls.    Down's Syndrome is rarely diagnosed as such in Sierra Leone and boys and girls with the condition are seen as 'devil children' in need of black magic.   And in Kenya, '65% of women and girls (pdf) are unable to afford sanitary pads. “When people earn less than two bucks a day, is a family going to [get] bread, milk and food, or a girl’s sanitary pads?” says Angela Lagat, chief brand marketing officer at ZanaAfrica.    The situation is so dire that in a 2015 study of 3000 Kenyan women, Dr Penelope Phillips-Howard found 1 in 10 15-year-old girls were having sex to get money to pay for sanitary ware' (, 5 January).

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