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  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226079.jpg
    Rue Saint Denis. It is 5:52 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226080.jpg
    Under the canopy of Chatelet. It is 5:53 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226081.jpg
    Under the canopy of Chatelet. It is 5:53 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226084.jpg
    A woman walks on the street with a mask on her face. It is 5:59 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226085.jpg
    Rivoli Street. It is 6:05 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226086.jpg
    A brewery displaying, never on vacation, is closed following government announcements. It is 6:06 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226087.jpg
    Rivoli Street. It is 6:09 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226088.jpg
    A man with a mask rides a scooter on rue de Rivoli. It is 6:12 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226089.jpg
    A man is riding a bicycle peacefully in the streets of almost empty Paris (Place du Carrousel). It is 6:14 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226090.jpg
    Place du carrousel opposite the Louvre museum. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226091.jpg
    A man jogging past a closed souvenir shop with a reproduction of the Mona Lisa in the shop window. It is 6:25 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226093.jpg
    Brasserie closed at Place de la Republique. It is 6:26 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226094.jpg
    Almost empty Place de la Republique. It is 6:27 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226095.jpg
    Republic Square. It is 6:29 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226096.jpg
    Hotel le Meurice closes. Rivoli Street. There and 6:29 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226097.jpg
    A homeless tent on rue de Rivoli. It is 6:32 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226098.jpg
    Place de la Concorde almost empty. It is 6:33 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226099.jpg
    Place de la Concorde almost empty. It is 6:33 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226101.jpg
    Almost empty Avenue des Champs Elysees. It is 6:47 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226102.jpg
    A shoddy car drives at high speed down the avenue des champs Elysees. It is 6:53 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226104.jpg
    A young man in full protective gear is filmed by a friend as he calls out to people around the Champs Elysees ring. It is 7:03 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226107.jpg
    A taxi driver with a mask. It is 7:39 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226108.jpg
    No one in public transport. It is 7:49 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226054.jpg
    a lilac brasserie bar closes following government announcements. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226056.jpg
    A woman shows the movement certificate she printed to take out her dog and do some shopping. It is 5:09 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226057.jpg
    A surgical glove lies on the sidewalk of boulevard Beaumarchais. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226058.jpg
    Public toilets are condemned using a warning tape. Boulevard Beaumarchais. It is 5:11 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226059.jpg
    A masked man returns from shopping. Republic Square. It is 5:14 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226060.jpg
    A woman wearing a mask bikes at Place de la Republique. It is 5:17 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226061.jpg
    Place of the Republic almost empty. It is 6:33 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226062.jpg
    Posters "the hospital saves you, save the" displayed on a wall in Paris. It is 5:33 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226063.jpg
    Two young people play badmington on a street in Paris. It is 5:37 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226065.jpg
    A4 motorway arriving in Paris. The road is almost deserted. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226066.jpg
    place of life of a homeless person. It is 5:39 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226067.jpg
    A man in charge of refueling a pharmacy passes with gloves in his hand. It is 5:41 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226068.jpg
    Open pharmacy, closed touch-up. It is 5:43 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226070.jpg
    Two women chat on the street. They wear masks and gloves. It is 5:50 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226071.jpg
    Rue Saint Denis. It is 5:51 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226072.jpg
    View of the Parisian periphery from the bagnolet door exchanger. It is 4:24 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226073.jpg
    Quasi empty Cours de Vincennes. it's 4:28 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226075.jpg
    A man walks past the almost empty rue de Lappe. It is 4:37 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226077.jpg
    Bastille's Place. it's 4:52 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • 1st day of confinement in Paris
    France
    Michael Bunel
    LePictorium_0226078.jpg
    Two women with masks on their faces discuss Place de la Bastille. It is 4:53 p.m. First day of confinement for the French after the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron. Since noon, the movements of the French have become limited. Exceptional measures to try to stop the spread of Coronavirus, covid-19. Paris, France. March 17, 2020.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223625.jpg
    Irine and Moneka - El Bashra, Upper Egypt.
    Irine comes from a small Coptic village in Upper Egypt. She was circumcised one day after school, when she was 12 years old. She doesn’t have much memories of it, but says she’s still deeply traumatized by the violence of the event. She got married at a young age, and gave birth to six kids. Two of them died during the delivery. Consequences of FGM are indeed going way beyond psychological trauma, since obstetrical complications can occur to the victims, such as post-partum hemorrhage, need of episiotomy, tearing of the tissues or flesh, while the rate of death among new born babies is higher. After the birth of her first daughter, she had long discussions with her husband about FGM. «  He actually supported my choice, I think he understood it didn’t have anything to do with religion and could only arm Moneka. His family, however, didn’t accept our choice, and still pressure us today. »
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223626.jpg
    Umm Malek and Malek - Qalanfil, Delta of Egypt
    Umm Malek lives in a small muslim village in the Delta of Egypt. She got circumcised at 10 years old and remains profoundly scarred by the trauma of that day. «  You can easily forget what you’ve eaten on that day, or how the weather was. But you can’t forget the trauma, the pain… »
    Umm Malek is now fully conscient of the long term consequences of such practice on her mental health as well as in her married woman’s intimate life. «  What we tend to ignore is that many divorces happen because of that barbarian practice. Women and men become unsatisfied, it leads to a lot of frustration and anger. ». After giving birth to a daughter, she started attending awareness sessions lead by a local NGO in a nearby village. The consequences she was facing herself combined to these sessions convinced her for good that she couldn’t perpetrate that practice on her daughter. «  I simply couldn’t inflict such misery to my own daughter. I want her to be happily married. » At first, women of her village pressured her to circumcise Umm Malek, threatening that she would never get her daughter married if she didn’t. « But I took these women to the awareness sessions with me, and since then, five of them decided to not cut their daughters ! »
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223627.jpg
    Marsa and Barbara Anna -El Bashra, Upper Egypt
    Marsa also comes from a Coptic community, where circumcision is still widely spread. When she was inflicted with FGM at a young age, she suffered from severe bleeding, and had to remain in bed for more than a week. Complications such as infections, HIV or severe bleedings are common in such rurale areas where FGM is practiced with non sterilized razor blades or knives. Tales of women being told to sit in buckets of hot water to heal the wound is also regularly recalled, attesting of the absolute lack of medical attention these young girls receive.
    While growing up, Marsa couldn’t get rid of the trauma and the fear of that event. Thankfully, women in her village were slowly giving up on that tradition following the public discourses of the local priest taking position against that practice.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223628.jpg
    Do’a and Baheda - Sandibis, Delta of Egypt
    Do’a comes from a particularly traditional muslim family and was also circumcised at a young age. «  Shortly after the birth of Baheda, I started attending awareness sessions in my village where we’d talk about reproductive health, women’s rights.. Some sessions also tackled the topic of circumcision, and some sheikhs attended it ! When they explained to us that it is absolutely not mentioned by the Quran, it was a revelation for us. Religion was our parents’ main argument for doing it! »
    In Egypt, where religion is particularly anchored in the social fabric of the country, religious leaders are an essential asset in the fight against the practice as they can counter the religious argument that is the most commonly used to perpetrate the practice.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223629.jpg
    Do’a and Baheda - Sandibis, Delta of Egypt
    Do’a comes from a particularly traditional muslim family and was also circumcised at a young age. «  Shortly after the birth of Baheda, I started attending awareness sessions in my village where we’d talk about reproductive health, women’s rights.. Some sessions also tackled the topic of circumcision, and some sheikhs attended it ! When they explained to us that it is absolutely not mentioned by the Quran, it was a revelation for us. Religion was our parents’ main argument for doing it! »
    In Egypt, where religion is particularly anchored in the social fabric of the country, religious leaders are an essential asset in the fight against the practice as they can counter the religious argument that is the most commonly used to perpetrate the practice.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223630.jpg
    Maria and Anna - El Bersha, Upper Egypt.
    Maria got circumcised at 12 years old at the same time of her younger sister.
    "We never talked about it after that. We felt as if it was something slightly shameful but somehow normal. We thought we weren't allowed to cry about it, or express any pain."
    Just as many women of her village, maria got convinced by the local priest that the practice was abnormal. "As for our husbands, they were easily convinced as well. They quickly saw that all the women were abandoning the practice and they understood that it ha nothing to do with religion in any case. "
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223631.jpg
    Doaa and Shahid - Islamilia, northern Egypt
    « I was ten years old and my parents told me that a big party was organized for me at my grandmother’s house. I had no idea what was going on. » When arriving there, dozens of relatives were gathered, but her questions to her mother about the reason of that event were left unanswered. «  I remember that a friend of my parents came discreetly to me looking upset. He told me to run away while I could, that I should escape. I should have listened to him.. » Doaa remember very well the exact moment she got circumcised. The biggest pain remains seeing her mother ignoring her cries for help when a local barber took her clothes off and held a razor blade between her legs.
    It was only at university that she started exchanging about that practice for the first time with other women. And when she got married to a Palestinian man, she suddenly understood the abnormality of FGM. « I realized that Egypt was one of the only countries of the Middle-East to perpetrate such practice. My husband made me realize that most of the countries, including some countries following the Sharia, weren’t cutting their women. It was therefore naturally that we chose to protect Shahid from it. My family is still furious about it, but at least I have my family in law’s support. » Doaa is now a Humans Rights and Women’s Rights lawyer. Due to the severe breakdown on activists in Egypt, she can’t live with her daughter anymore for her protection.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223632.jpg
    Doaa and Shahid - Islamilia, northern Egypt
    « I was ten years old and my parents told me that a big party was organized for me at my grandmother’s house. I had no idea what was going on. » When arriving there, dozens of relatives were gathered, but her questions to her mother about the reason of that event were left unanswered. «  I remember that a friend of my parents came discreetly to me looking upset. He told me to run away while I could, that I should escape. I should have listened to him.. » Doaa remember very well the exact moment she got circumcised. The biggest pain remains seeing her mother ignoring her cries for help when a local barber took her clothes off and held a razor blade between her legs.
    It was only at university that she started exchanging about that practice for the first time with other women. And when she got married to a Palestinian man, she suddenly understood the abnormality of FGM. « I realized that Egypt was one of the only countries of the Middle-East to perpetrate such practice. My husband made me realize that most of the countries, including some countries following the Sharia, weren’t cutting their women. It was therefore naturally that we chose to protect Shahid from it. My family is still furious about it, but at least I have my family in law’s support. » Doaa is now a Humans Rights and Women’s Rights lawyer. Due to the severe breakdown on activists in Egypt, she can’t live with her daughter anymore for her protection.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223633.jpg
    Fayza and Maha - Alexandria, Northern Egypt
    Fayza was married to a 45 years old man when she was barely 14 years old. She had been circumcised a few years before, without any explanations. Fayza being from an older generation, circumcision was seen as a normal practice, that couldn’t be objected.
    « The first time I ever heard about FGM was on the night of my wedding when undressing for my husband. I was discovering sexuality through the prism of my mutilation. » Only then did she realize that this practice was barbarian, and could have life-long consequences on her - and her couple.
    None of her daughters are therefore circumcised, despite the very strong social pressure that weighted on her, especially 30 years ago.
    When her daughter Maha gave birth to a young girl, she decided to follow her mother’s steps and refused to circumcise her baby girl. However, after a complicated divorce, her baby girl got taken away from her by her husband.
    She discovered years after, when she finally won her custody back, that he circumcised her against her will, when she was 13 years old.
    Fayza remains however hopeful «  Traditions are strong. Pressure is strong. But the new generation has enough cards in their hands to change things. They are the first ones to talk openly about it, and they have the capacity to generate change thanks to that. »
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223634.jpg
    Mariana, Yoanna and Febroina - Mallawi, Upper Egypt
    Mariana was circumcised on the same day as her sister and a dozen of young girls taken to the same house, one day after school. There, they were circumcised one after the other by a local da’ya (a village midwife). «  Everybody was screaming, some girls tried running away… It was absolutely awful, and we weren’t even told what was happening except that it was for our own good ! »
    But a decade ago, Father Aghethaton, the coptic priest of the village, started militating against that practice. Through preaches at the church, awareness sessions and discussions with the mothers of the village, he slowly started eradicating that practice. His successor is now following his path, while almost half of the women of that community has supposedly abandoned the practice. Social pressure and religious arguments are often the two main barriers to the eradication of FGM.
  • The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
    Egypt
    Chloe Sharrock
    LePictorium_0223635.jpg
    Maha and Maryam - Cairo
    For Maha, her circumcision was felt as a rape and leaded to a complex relationship with her own body. «  All my young life, I was told to never uncover in front of man, to remain modest. But on that day, a man forcedly took off my clothes, and touched me, mutilated me, on the most intimate part of my body, and my parents consented to it. »
    After that event, Maha couldn’t stand her body. She could barely undress in front of her own husband, and hated physical contact. It’s only around her thirties that she started hearing about the toxic consequences that FGM can have. She started to attend some reunions and storytelling sessions with women that went through FGM as well, and slowly started to accept her body again. « It has always been a struggle with my husband. I was frigid. And when I had to give birth, I couldn’t bare the idea of undressing or being touched by doctors. I therefore had to undergo an emergency C-section, and I almost lost my child on that day. My two deliveries went exactly the same way… »
    Maha has now started a program of awareness sessions about FGM for Syrian refugees in Egypt. « These women don’t know anything about that practice, since it’s not common at all in Syria. When they arrive here, they marry with Egyptians that suddenly tell them that it’s what the Quran dictates. But we need to prevent that practice from spreading in other communities. »
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