Excerpt:

Miriam clearly remembers the day she was cut, bundled by two village women into a bathroom at the age of 7, where a third performed the procedure. "It was very, very painful," the young Malian woman says softly, as her two tiny children pinch her cheeks, crying for attention.

She still gets bouts of pain, especially during sex. But she is far more concerned for her 5-month-old daughter and lives in fear that the baby will eventually suffer the same fate.

"All my sisters were cut," Miriam says. "The same with their children. It's a practice in my village."

The 27-year-old mother is not in Bamako, Mali, but at a new women's center outside Paris that is among the few in France to offer holistic treatment for victims of female genital mutilation, or FGM. Among the clientele, Miriam's story is chillingly mundane.


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