FGM is the abbreviation for Female Genital Mutilation. It is the international denomination for the excision of female genitals and constitutes a violation of human rights. Nevertheless, a lot of people in African countries hold on the practice. Why?

BENKADI has the goal to elucidate the practice nationally and internationally and to sensitize the person concerned about its consequences. Lectures and discussions accompany the presentation of the film. The following institutions are cooperating with us:  AMPE(Association Malienne pour la protection de l’environnement) Bamako/Mali; IAMANEH MALI (Association pour la promotion de la santé de la mère et de l’enfant) Bamako/Mali; Krankenhaus Point G, Bamako; Club International des femmes, Bamako and GAP (Groupe d’appuie aux programmes).

Surgery for girls and women

BENKADI could help to operate 55 women and 2 girls to become rescued from their pain



Girls and women, being excised during their youth or adulthood, can be heavily damaged in their health. Most frequently they suffer from rectovaginal fistula, which means adhesions of the genital tissue. They can lead to permanent pain and incontinence as well as complications during birth.

BENKADI could contribute to relieve 55 women and 2 little girls from their suffering.



AINSI VA LA VIE – Living with the ritual of excision
Documentary by Edda Brandes & Svenja Cussler, 2001

We accompany three people, two women and one man, in their private and public life in Bamako, the capital of Mali. All three have very different experiences with and opinions about the practice of female excision. Both women have been excised. While Djeneba has her girls excised and gives several “good” reasons for this from her point of view, Fatou still suffers from the consequences of this intervention, which she experienced at the age of about 8 years and fights passionately against it. Salia, anthropologist at the National Museum in Bamako, is caught between all chairs: His Western education makes him reject this practice; however, if he sees himself in opposition to his older brother in the village, who has the authority to issue directives, he cannot – according to him – do anything against these authorities, if he does not want to cause a break with his family of origin. 

The film provides insights into the everyday life of all three protagonists and grants each of them a high degree of respect and the inviolability of their dignity. “Ainsi va la vie” is a poetic film that arouses consternation and leaves room for dealing with the plight of the people affected.