Gishiri (gishri) cutting is a practice considered to be female genital mutilation performed in Hausa and Fulani in Nigeria and southern Niger. It is believed to treat vaginal and reproductive disorders in women, however there is absolutely no evidence that it does anything but damage.

Gishiri cutting involves inserting a knife into the vagina (which has been deemed ‘too narrow) and make backward cuts from the back of the vagina down to the perineum. The conditions ‘treated’ using this brutal cutting are difficulty giving birth, infertility, dyspareunia, uterine or vaginal prolapse, and urinary retention.

Naturally there are a plethora of things that can go horribly wrong, including the logical development of a fistula, whereby a hole develops between the anal canal or bladder, or both, and the vagina, allowing wastes to be excreted partially out of the vagina. Haemorrhaging is a huge risk, and many women die from this procedure.

 

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