When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

UNCUT: The War Against Female Genital Mutilation

Facing The Scourge Of Female Genital Mutilation In Africa

Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the first in an in-depth multimedia series of reports from Africa, and beyond, about the continuing practice of female genital mutilation.

A woman on the streets of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.
A woman on the streets of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.
Emanuela Zuccalà

An ordinary razor blade, a sharp knife, or a shard of broken glass. The mother and the aunts restrain the little girl while a woman is paid to inflict a pain so intense that it will never be forgotten. Afterwards the girl won't be able to move for a week, waiting for the wound to heal and the whole family praying it won't get infected.

For more than 125 million women around the world, the passage from infancy to adulthood is marked by the blood that comes from a female genital mutilation (FGM). The procedure comprises cutting the clitoris, sometimes scraping away the labia minora, up to the most extreme form: removal of all the external genitalia and sewing the incision closed leaving a small hole for menstrual flow and urine, which will later be cut open on the girl's wedding night. An obligatory ritual in certain societies, it is believed to "purify" women from their femininity, sentencing them to undergo excruciating pain to make them virgins for life, resistant to sexual pleasure, and therefore — the main aim — make them devoted and faithful wives.

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ