LAS VEGAS, July 7 – In a verdict released on June 30, the Ouagadougou Supreme Court of Burkina Faso, West Africa, found Professor Charlemagne Marie Ouedraogo guilty of defaming the Raelian Church of Bukina Faso. The court sentenced Ouedraogo to a stiff fine of 100, 000 FCFA plus 1 million FCFA in punitive damages, payable to the Raelian Church. He must also pay for the cost of the trial.
AVFE/Clitoraid’s Kamkaso Hospital, the world’s first clinic to offer free repair surgery for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), had scheduled its grand opening for March 7, 2014, but Ouedraogo and others vigorously opposed it. Subsequently, Burkina Faso’s Health Minister issued a last-minute decision denying the facility the right to open.
“That decision caused continued suffering and disappointment for our patients, many of whom had traveled long distances to have the surgery,” said Clitoraid Communications Director Nadine Gary. “Our volunteer doctors and nurses who had flown in from abroad to do the surgeries were shocked, as were the thousands of donors whose financial contributions made the hospital construction possible.”
Gary said Ouedraogo issued a defamatory letter on February 24, 2014, in which he referred to the Kamkaso Hospital project as “a big scam campaign organized by Rael’s cult.” “He wrote that letter shortly after we issued a press release announcing the hospital opening, and his comments could easily have prompted the Health Minister’s decision,” Gary said. “In fact, the letter even included the statement, ‘The minister and the governor have decided to stop this intoxication campaign.’ At any rate, the Health Minister refused to grant us authorization to open the clinic, and after that, the Medical Association repealed our volunteer doctors’ licenses to practice in Burkina Faso.”
The Raelian Church and the AVFE/CLITORAID Association subsequently filed the defamation lawsuit against Ouedraogo.
“We’re elated with the court ruling,” Gary said. “Professor Ouedraogo and his supporters should be ashamed for blocking our humanitarian effort. They catered to personal interests at the expense of women who suffer daily from FGM effects. When our hospital finally opens to help them, it will be a great success story that people will talk about for years to come."
LAS VEGAS, May 4 – “Today, we’re launching our second annual International Clitoris Awareness Week, May 4-11,” said Nadine Gary, Clitoraid spokesperson. “We invite women worldwide to defend, explore and rejoice in their right to sexual pleasure.”
Although Clitoraid focuses on clitoral repair surgery for women suffering effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), its central mission is to raise public awareness.
"In some African countries, 98 percent of the women have had their sexual organs mutilated,” Gary said. “They will never experience sexual pleasure unless they have the surgery that Clitoraid is offering to do right now for free in Burkina Faso, and soon in many other countries. But there is also a mental mutilation component, one that almost all women worldwide suffer from after being told for centuries that sensuality and sexuality are dirty.”
Clitoraid was the vision of Rael, founder and spiritual head of the Raelian Movement.
“He wrote 'Sensual Meditation,' a book emphasizing the importance of pleasure for men and women, and he pointed out that repression of sexual pleasure is damaging to our fulfillment as human beings,” Gary said, adding that women have born the brunt of that repression.
“The clitoris is a magnificent organ that has been ignored, vilified, made taboo, and even considered sinful through antiquated, patriarchal religious teachings,” she explained. “It’s time to give it the attention it deserves as the only organ with an exclusive sexual pleasure function!”
Gary said it’s easy to see why Western women still experience sexual guilt.“Not that long ago, 'nymphomania' was considered a disease, and masturbation was thought to cause blindness and premature death,” she pointed out. Doctors even believed that sexual arousal destroys a woman’s mental balance!”
The clitoris, boasting the most nerve endings of any human organ (8,000, against 5,000 in the penis), was declared the source of the purported problems.
“In 1865, the president of the British Medical Society recommended clitoral excision to cure illnesses like epilepsy and hysteria,” Gary said.” And scientists didn’t fully research the clitoris until recently. Dr. Helen O’Connell, an Australian urologist, mapped it completely 8 years ago, using an MRI device.”
Clitoraid is inviting women to organize special events this week. “They should celebrate their sexual beauty,” Gary said. “Sexual expression brings self-esteem and inner balance, so let's celebrate the clitoris without shame or guilt!”
The most joyful celebration is expected to take place in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where a group of FGM victims is celebrating surgically restored clitorises this week, thanks to Clitoraid. “They’re experiencing sexual pleasure sensations for the first time!” Gary exclaimed, adding that the woman had the free surgery 2 months ago under
Clitoraid volunteer surgeons Dr. Marci Bowers and Dr. Harold Henning, who flew to Burkina Faso for our first medical humanitarian mission there.
Las Vegas, - April 21, 2014. Following the tragic death of a thirteen-year old Kenyan girl after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) last Monday, Clitoraid urges Mr. James Macharia Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health to open Kenya's first Clitoral Repair Hospital. "FGM reversal surgery will be a powerful deterrent to this barbaric and dangerous practice" says Nadine Gary, Communications Director for Clitoraid. "Why do something that can easily be undone?". See pictures of before and after surgical results courtesy of Clitoraid volunteer head surgeon, Dr. Bowers:
Clitoraid who is in the final stages of opening a Clitoral repair state-of-the-art clinic in Burkina Faso, organized a humanitarian mission in Bobo Dioulasso last month where 38 FGM patients recovered their clitoris thanks to the volunteer work of 4 US doctors who traveled to the West African country to offer the surgery.
"The same humanitarian mission must be organized in Kenya in the shortest delay" insists Gary. "Countless FGM victims from Kenya have been writing to us begging us to provide the service in Kenya and to give them back a sense of dignity and pleasure".
A letter has been addressed to Mr. James Macharia where Clitoraid offers to come and train a Kenyan surgeon free of charge willing to learn the surgical technique.
"No time can be wasted, we must act at once and save lives!" concluded Gary.
Despite pressure from the Catholic Church to prevent the opening of the Pleasure Hospital on March 7, Clitoraid was still able to carry out the inauguration of the building, and the beginning of its operations at another hospital in Bobo Dioulasso.
Following this the Swiss Clitoraid Association carried out demonstrations outside the Burkina Faso Embassy on March 7 to express its indignation and disappointment.
Then, without losing sight of our goal, two donation collects for the Pleasure Hospital were made successfully at the Nyon market on Saturday March 15 and 29, during which 2,120 Swiss Francs were amassed.
Our booths set up to collect donations allowed us to be in touch with those who donated and who were very pleased to see that their money actually saves lives and gives all the women who are victims of FGM the opportunity to start a new life. These donors also showed tremendous support and appreciation for the work that we do for the victims of female circumcision and genital mutilation. I take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity and for their unconditional support.
And given the sensitivity of the subject, we are led to ask ourselves why the Burkina Faso government does not put the health and dignity of women who are victims of genital mutilation first?
Clitoraid is a public charity and has been granted tax exempt status (section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code). US taxpayers can deduct donations to us from their federally-taxable income. Our tax-ID# is: 20-4818106