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Gishiri

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Template:Orphan The practice of “gishiri cutting”, also known as "gishri cutting" is done in many African villages. A whole range of gynecologic complaints, including difficulty in labor and the inability to vaginally penetrate pre-pubescent girls, are believed to be caused by a vagina that is too narrow. The traditional treatment is to incise the vagina. A long knife is inserted into the vagina and backward cuts from the vagina into the perineum are made.

Terrible injuries can result; there can be a hole into the bladder or the rectum. Sometimes the knife is inserted down the urethra to make the cut, laying bare the entire lower urinary tract. Many women die from hemorrhage. Those who survive can be left with bladder or rectal fistulae, and permanent damage to the anal sphincter.

The name “gishiri” comes from the word gishiri which is Hausa for "salt". It refers to the practice of Arab traders who still caravan across the Sahara to cities in the northern regions of West Africa, such as Kano, Nigeria. Among the most precious cargo they bring are blocks of salt. When a customer buys a quantity of salt, the trader produces a long knife and cuts a piece off a large block. The knife used to cut the salt is similar to the kind used to produce gishiri cuts.

Gishiri cutting is often viewed as a form of genital mutilation.

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