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Men Break Down Watching Footage Of Female Genital Mutilation, Vow To Speak Out Against Practice

Sometimes it takes a glimpse into a dark reality in order to spark positive change.

In a video produced by advocacy group Safe Hands for Mothers, young men were asked if they knew what female genital mutilation, or FGM, is, and none of them did. The men then watched clips from a documentary that showed the abusive practice — which partially or entirely removes the female genitals for non-medical reasons (the clips were recreations and did not show actual victims, according to Safe Hands for Mothers).

Many of the young men cringed, squirmed in their seats and cried as the disturbing footage played.

“This is just barbaric,” one of them said.

“I felt powerless,” another man noted. “I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help.”

The video concludes with the men saying, “Now that I know, I say ‘no’ to FGM.”

Although most African countries have banned FGM, the practice is still most prevalent there, as well as in the Middle East, as Reuters reported. FGM — which has no health benefits and can cause infertility, problems urinating, severe bleeding and infections — has affected more than 125 million girls and women who are alive today, according to the World Health Organization.

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