Newsweek.com – By Eve Conant
One day, when Sila Folow was an 8-year-old girl living in Mali, four elderly women held her down on the dirt floor of an outhouse and, in keeping with local tradition, used a sharp blade to cut out her clitoris and most of her labia. Her grandmother and other villagers held a celebration. Sila, bleeding and in terrible pain, could not walk for weeks. Like millions of other African girls who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation – a ritual many women say is intended to ensure that they grow up to become sexually passive wives who will not stray from their husbands – Sila never recovered. She eventually moved to New York, married, and had two children. But she was reluctant to have sex with her husband. It hurt, and the scarring made it impossible for her to feel pleasure.