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Droit au Corps follows the path of compassion :
“True to its ethical priority, in aiming to end the suffering caused by sexual mutilation, Droit au Corps also takes into account the distress that may be experienced by those who feel threatened in relation to their traditions, or compelled to perpetuate them. Droit au corps wishes to unite all parties affected by sexual mutilation in a common effort towards this end.”
The suffering in question can be of a physical, emotional, psychological or sexual nature.
Male and/or female circumcision (or female sexual mutilation as it is referred to today) is a traditional form of integration for certain cultural communities.
How can one therefore put an end to these traditions whilst ensuring that those who practice them do not perceive this as a threat ? Is it possible to maintain the sense of belonging within these communities in the absence of circumcision ? Is it possible to wait until the individual reaches an age when he can consent to his own circumcision without this resulting in his exclusion from these communities ?
These concerns are not new and alternative rituals to circumcision have gradually appeared – with no bodily modification – in several places around the world. In Kenya for instance, where every boy and girl of the Meru county traditionally has to experience a circumcision ritual, the ‘Ntanira na mugambo’ (a circumcision with words) has been promoted for girls. For the Samburu people, girls are covered in milk during this alternative ritual, while young girls from the Nyamira province are informed about the dangers of sexual mutilations as well as alternative coming of age rituals during 9 day camps.
Droit au Corps promotes rituals such as these that do not endanger the cultures concerned. They are part of numerous developments that, together, indicate an end to practices that generate suffering, progressively and without oppressing the cultures that still carry on circumcision to this day.
With regard to the Jewish culture, Brit Shalom is one of these alternative rituals and is rising in popularity as the child’s best interest is increasingly taken into account. At the beginning of the 21st century this alternative is now being used in the United States in particular as well as in Israel.
In French-speaking countries Droit au Corps gladly supports the initiative of Brit Shalom a non-Suffering Covenant, which began in 2016. You too can spread the word about this new practice, in a spirit of compassion.