Surgery returns 'womanhood' to Kenya FGM survivors

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STORY: At a hospital in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, surgeons prepare a patient for reconstructive surgery.
She is a survivor of female genital mutilation, or FGM, and has requested anonymity.
"I was nine years old. I didn't know anything, I was only told that I was taken for something to make me a complete woman."
Instead, the cop says she felt incomplete.
That's why she was one of around 60 women who recently signed up for free clitoral reconstruction surgery.
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“This operation is very important to me because as a woman who has undergone genital mutilation I feel fundamentally incomplete. There are things that other girls enjoy that I don't like.
FGM is practiced in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
It involves the partial removal of the external or visible part of the clitoris.
The US surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers has been brought in by Clitoraid for the two-week surgical initiative.
She has operated on hundreds of Kenyan women on two previous visits.
She said the clitoris is about 11 centimeters long and there is a lot of it in the body. She described FGM as "cutting off the tip of the iceberg".
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"But beneath the surface is the iceberg, so in our surgeries we bring the 'iceberg,' or clitoral body, to the surface for recognition and awareness."
According to the United Nations, one in five Kenyan women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 has been circumcised.
Bowers said her patients most often describe the reconstruction as "life-changing" and say it gave them a chance to regain their womanhood.

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