In this TED talk, Khadija Gbla discusses the two different definitions of empowerment she learned from her mum when they lived in Sierra Leone and the one she got when they migrated to Australia. Her mother’s definition of empowerment was circumcision. She told her that it stifled her sexual urges so that she could not have sexual relations with men (Gbla, 2014). Gbla’s understanding of empowerment changed when she moved to Australia and experienced a new culture.
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She came to learn that what her mother had done to her was known as ‘female genital mutilation” and not circumcision as it was referred to in Sierra Leone (Gbla, 2014). She explains how she lives with the pain of undergoing a primitive practice that is now common, even in developed nations. The dangers of mutilation include the risk of impotence, lack of sexual urges, and painful menstruation (Gbla, 2014). She has dedicated her life to fighting FGM and ensuring that women and girls do not undergo the pain that she experienced.
Gbla, K. (2014). My mother’s strange definition of empowerment. Web.