Culture & Society
In the past years, effective campaigns and mounting pressure from International Human Rights Groups and local activists compelled many African countries to ban female circumcision also known as “Female Genital Mutilation ” due to possible serious medical implications on the woman’s body. FGM is said to be traumatic and has a life-long impact. The practice is also a child right issue when a minor is involved. However, laws in some African countries only prohibits FGM on girls below 18 but such law does not sit well with some Human Right Groups who wants the practised to be totally criminalized.
Astonishingly, the same human right groups and leftist social activists are on the other hand advocating for sex-change, the “T” in the LGBTQIA acronym. Transgender is currently designated as a human right issue thus its urge to be legal even among minors who may lack the right mental faculty to make such a life-changing decision. There are so many medical complications related to sex-change and it is no doubt that many African countries do not have the required medical facilities to administer the transitioning process.
According to the US Center for Disease Control: In 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis found that an estimated 14% external icon of transgender women have HIV. By race/ethnicity an estimated 44% of black/African American transgender and 7% white transgender women.
Similar research from the University of Rochester also reveals that while transitioning, a transgender may take hormones to achieve masculine or feminine effects. Those hormones carry many risks such as:
-Low or high blood pressure
-Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance
Another African common practice that is recently receiving criticism from outsiders is the male circumcision, which is also known as a “rite of passage”. Male initiation is a tradition that is prevalent throughout Africa and from The Gambia to South Africa, the practice connotes traditional communalism – where boys are send to camps to learn social values and how to be a better man in society. Some western media groups and social commentators often called it “a dangerous path to manhood”.
It is difficult to understand why voluntary “rite of passage” dubbed a dangerous path but a boy’s decision to change his sex a “bold move”. Recently, former NBA player, Dwayne Wade’s son has been widely
celebrated as a brave little boy for announcing his decision to change from a boy to a girl.
Should an individual choice to alter their body trumps pubic health issue and social order – in the case of a 30-year-old Sudanese woman who wants to circumcise or 12-year-old boy who wants to be a girl?