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Malawi: Girls victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

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Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN In the remote southern regions of Malawi, a violent tradition is practised on young women. Girls who reach puberty are forced to have sex with a "hyena", a man chosen by their family. Strict rules surround this rape, which is organised in the utmost secrecy. Despite being outlawed, the ancient practice endures. This report was co-financed by the Rotary magazine’s young TV reporter prize. Girls in southern Malawi have no say in the matter. As soon as they get their first period, they are made to spend the night with a man chosen by their family - called a "hyena" - to mark their passage to womanhood. Locals believe this "sexual cleansing" ritual is necessary to "purify" the young women and protect them from serious illnesses. But for the girls, it’s a traumatic event: rape, which can result in an unwanted pregnancy. "Hyenas" are men chosen by the community and recruited in secret by the girls’ parents. They are paid to have these forced sexual relations. And they never use protection: a disaster in a country where 10% of the population is HIV-positive. The figure is even higher in this poor region, where 16% of inhabitants carry the virus. The practice is now banned, but in rural Malawi, old traditions die hard and enforcing the law is difficult. Yet mentalities are slowly changing, and people are beginning to speak out against this custom. Female district chiefs and NGOs have already begun the long struggle so that one day, girls in Malawi will no longer be victims of this tradition. http://www.france24.com/en/reporters Visit our website: http://www.france24.com Subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://f24.my/youtubeEN Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FRANCE24.English Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/France24_en
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Text Comments (2296)
Karen Brown (6 minutes ago)
This whole thing is just so sick.
Tru DeSoto (1 hour ago)
The old women are STUCK. The only power for women in Africa is in acting as Overseers for Male domination. It's also a bit like Stockholm Syndrome.
Carama Gambino (4 hours ago)
It’s your customs to infect virgins with a deadly disease. You’re a damn moron
Carama Gambino (4 hours ago)
Chief of demonic stupidity.
Viktória Csuka (6 hours ago)
So So much nonsense
Shelley Stinton (6 hours ago)
That’s disgusting from the beginning to the end
Susan Campbell (6 hours ago)
Wow. I could have sex today and someone in the U.S. could fall ill or I could not have sex today and I'm sure someone in the U.S. will fall ill. Someone needs to get that woman a book.
wuzie wuzie (7 hours ago)
getting used to rape.
Asivekonke Nontombi Wani (12 hours ago)
The old women r mentally ill n the AIDs kills.Its best that these get married while they r virgins
Sexual cleansing?
Gordon Okumu (15 hours ago)
what a shame...? oh my mother land Africa; who bewitched us???
MsTheJohnsons (17 hours ago)
This is sickening
Mabel Nuamah (1 day ago)
🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️
Janette Chilson (1 day ago)
These women are disgusting, uneducated, animals .. wtf ??? What kind of woman would happily promote this to their daughters or another young woman ?? It’s a death sentence for these girls.
Janette Chilson (1 day ago)
This is pure and simple RAPE !!!!
Grace Molina (1 day ago)
they should be educated. they MUST.
Pat Kal (1 day ago)
we just need to stone them to death
Kiani Davis (1 day ago)
So pretty
Peach Glow Reyah (1 day ago)
these people are jinn
Peach Glow Reyah (1 day ago)
control and dominance
Cherina Lee (1 day ago)
Lord this is not right! No!!!! I don’t agree.... lord have mercy!!!!!!!!! 💔💔💔💔
Lynette Streak (1 day ago)
"Perform in bed"!!!! Sex is a sacred act not a performance. A lot of African people are steeped in rituals and harm a lot of people. I was born in Africa but am white
Lynette Streak (1 day ago)
How terrible
Sick & Digusting! Come out of the dark ... HIV center. Horrible!
MayaTalksTV (1 day ago)
Uneducated stupid people!!😢😢😢😢
MayaTalksTV (1 day ago)
Sad crying 😢😢😢😢😢
Cherina Lee (1 day ago)
MayaTalksTV me too boo! My heart hurts 💔💔💔
Angela Conley (1 day ago)
What programs are in America that we can help with.
Sue Batt (1 day ago)
This is a terrible and outdated procedure.we are so lucky in britain.i agree with people who are saying that the older women force these girls to do it because it is what happened to them.and so it will continue.
D0p3_Keds (1 day ago)
She really got expelled when it was their tradition that got her pregnant? Where’s the logic?
😭😭😭 unbelievably......
William Doubleu (2 days ago)
Cleanse the HIV children & adults.
southernfriedcook (2 days ago)
Anybody else see this kind of stuff happening within the gangs and street cultures here in America? I do. They bring their debauchery here and our kids are told it is "diversity".
Gloria Lewis (2 days ago)
Hyena 😱😱😱 Man. learn to say no. Kick them in the area it's hurts. But now we have to remember that boys can also be raped. 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ Because where their is a whole man will go.
Gloria Lewis (2 days ago)
Aww bless no desk no computer no books. All the things we take for granted. Black men need to protect and you have every accept you have failed you are a complete let down. Raping young girls shameless man.🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️
Sheymila Christopher (2 days ago)
This is sick
sharon plant (2 days ago)
the men get away with everything there they make women worthless. its bloody child abuse so glad i live in uk poor kids
joe Williams (3 days ago)
How dam sad. These poor girls.
mizfrenchtwist (3 days ago)
so sad/ tragic..........I wonder how this " ritual " began........something should be done about this.........thank you , for the share.........
Diane Shelley (3 days ago)
This is not a cleansing. This is a very filthy act. These old women are sickening. This is rape.
Luvli Fava (3 days ago)
Lord have mercy on these young girls,this is wicked,heal their hearts oh lord and give them peace in the mighty name of Jesus Christ 🙏❤️
MYA (3 days ago)
Ignorant! Stupidity!.. they are deliberately spreading a killing disease ...it’s called Murder when you infect a person with HIV
amelia khan (3 days ago)
But wat that old lady talking about that this practice would prevent hiv ...there is a man who is hiv positive. .there customs are in humane. They have nothing better to do you see.
amelia khan (3 days ago)
Could they have a female heiena
April Ramese (3 days ago)
Nonsense.
wise namai (3 days ago)
I just feel like I hate Malawi and Mauritania where girls under 12yrs are subjected to a diet so as they can fatten up and be married off
Philile Maphily (3 days ago)
I just can't believe this Hyena tradition exists and that the chief says to prevent the spread of HIV.... And the danse is crazy 😵
Milca Morales (3 days ago)
That’s a beautiful girl, this is very saddening
Jane Moore (3 days ago)
What a lame excuse...'because it is a tradition'. Some cultures are just disgusting and need to die out.
Tamera Harris (4 days ago)
This ignorant bull shyt
c.a. greene (4 days ago)
Craziness! I fail to see how having your teenage daughter raped by a pederast male predator can protect her against disease and pregnancy? Bloody shameful how uneducated and backward these traditions are! Stop teaching women to please men and start teaching them to care for themselves! Give them the skills they need to make better choices and earn a living! By giving women options they become more free and then their children will have choices the parents never dreamed possible within their lifetime. Give women hope and watch 5hem change their world
Jennifer Dunn (4 days ago)
This is friggin insane OMG I want to cry
Tayshalee Reyes (4 days ago)
ewww ewww ewww
Puseletso Loape (4 days ago)
Is shocking
Joyce Nyawira (4 days ago)
One day a horny old man sat under a tree and thought to himself..how can i have sex with a young girl without being labeled a rapist/pedophile? i know! ill invent something called 'sexual cleansing'!..F traditions start reasoning! smh
Ratie Lepodisi (4 days ago)
Not all Africans do this.... I am from Botswana and this is all shocking to me
Teardropangel30 (5 days ago)
how horrible i will pray for her to heal their has got too be a way to end this madnes on earth LORd HEAR MY CRY PLEASE I BEG YOU
Artsy_Aries323 (5 days ago)
This is absurd. Protect from diseases? How about causes diseases. What a bunch of bs.
nickiaaaaa (5 days ago)
oh this makes me so angry
Nerkera Saunders (5 days ago)
Sad my heart goes out this young girl these villagers are ignorant an uneducated
charmaine Lewis-hines (5 days ago)
Nasty old goats
Eva W (6 days ago)
afrika had 600.000.000 people in 1960 now there live 1.600.000.000 people so birthcontrole is important.
World House (6 days ago)
I would take my baby and get the hell out of there. They can keep their dumb traditions.
Manic Annie (6 days ago)
The town "Elder" keeps the ritual going because she wants to make sure everybody gets it like she did. Miserable old hag. I just bet she's "heard" of plenty of horrible side effects if you don't adhere to their disgusting traditions. smh
babygirl& babyboy (6 days ago)
I feel so sorry for these young girls
Rose Dookie (7 days ago)
So sad for these young girls, this practice should be outlawed. Please don't take away their innocence from such a young age, and hope with Education they can have a better future.
Chelle (7 days ago)
This is just sick! They have no ownership of their own bodies. Some rituals need to stop! It's just no right! And I respect others cultures
Buhlebenkosi Msibi (7 days ago)
This is very huryful.... at times I wish I could just protect these young girl
Loveness Wotee (7 days ago)
Ooooh I can't get through this it is inhumane so stupid tradition die there in the bush
LONDON BOY (7 days ago)
Wow! Oh no, there have to be school and churches to teach the village's the Wright way 😥
Romnick Tapay (7 days ago)
Hiv positive and this guy rape girls..?wtf..stupid cleansing culture...*!!.hiv positive for 8 yrs...
Loret Young (7 days ago)
Force intercourse hun... tape is the correct word usage
Henriette Yago (7 days ago)
Rape is tradition 😠😠😠😠 they're all sick in the head for doing such a horrible thing to those girls
Lyne Oyugi (7 days ago)
Why are these women walking free? They should be behind bars by now.
tracy rogers (7 days ago)
They aren't going to tell the truth out of fear!!
tracy rogers (8 days ago)
This makes NO SENSE!!
Tom Reckless (8 days ago)
They're nuts
God's Child (8 days ago)
They need millions of other cultures to go out there and help and teach..... but again its cultures. We can only pray for any amount of positive change for them
God's Child (8 days ago)
I don't think they know its wrong. They werent taught our culture's. And saying it makes them better wives???? Well they have been scarred. How can they go on to be with anyine else??? Sad. I read a story a girl was forced into marriagr by her uncle to another uncle....13 and he was well over 50. She jumped into a lake of crocodiles.... sad! Will she go to heaven?
angel77503 (8 days ago)
France should be ashamed to talk about african problems since it has been milking the continent of its resources doing the worst things a human being can do to its fellow human being. To think that many countries desire to have the wealth and success that countries like France, the uk, usa. Have without thinking about the atrocities these countries have done to achieve that. How can we ever have a more peacefull world if we dont respect each other
Tenisha Slayton (8 days ago)
The elder women should lay down with the hyenas. The man clearly stated that he was HIV positive, therefore this awful society is literally destroying the lives of these young, first through rape and then through disease and possibly children. SMH. Absolutely disgusting 😷😷😷😷
ChrisandYanna_ LDR (8 days ago)
WTF.. HIV positive person raping you.. wtf this is insane!
Sha Gonzalez (8 days ago)
Thats just nasty plain out freaking nasty
Ashley Gebara (8 days ago)
All across these poor countries it’s always these superstitious miseducated people making the struggle worse for themselves.
Berly Henry (8 days ago)
The lady sitting with the cheif in the purple skirt is the same woman teaching the girls to strip! What a hypocrite! You can see the wickedness in her face! 🤢Gross! Edit : like for real shes literally wearing the same outfit! I hope the cheif see this!
Karlie Shanelle (9 days ago)
"well yes i was tested for HIV but it was a long time ago" as if its just guna go away?? "well what can it I do...it's tradition" uhmmm maybe not sleep with these girls???
nat turner (9 days ago)
they are not even wearing shoes
nat turner (8 days ago)
+Kyle Savage what else
Kyle Savage (8 days ago)
Really? Really? This is what got your attention in the documentary?
Fatima Alvarez (9 days ago)
I don’t think they should have shown the naked bodies of the girls in this documentary. They should have blurred it. In the end these are young girls. What I don’t understand is why blurred the hyenas faces but not the girls bodies? That’s just not right at all.
NKITMA ETIM (9 days ago)
He is proud to be hyena instead of human and hyenas don't Hav HIV
Leroy Rombe (9 days ago)
🤔Im on the bad and disgusting side of the Internet.
Carlton Fisher (9 days ago)
Yet feminists are trying to correct our pronouns
Tru DeSoto (1 hour ago)
WHITE feminists. Black ones are trying to get The R. Kelly's locked up.
skbakanov (9 days ago)
Instead of hanging Sadam, they should’ve killed these mothafuckers
Erickya (9 days ago)
throwback to slavery in Africa left behind by the west.!
Erickya (9 days ago)
Why are the woman's Breast in Africa never covered iup n the documentary.
Buildright Consult Ng (13 days ago)
Who did this to Africans? What a culture!
Ty Oneal (15 days ago)
How heart breaking😢
* Shenanigans (16 days ago)
Forced child rape is their "tradition"? HIV positive evil rapists.!!!!
Maureen Stevens (16 days ago)
And they wonder why western countries do NOT want these men in our countries.
Tenneh Fofana (16 days ago)
They need to read the holy Bible.
Roman Hook (16 days ago)
I blame White men working and paying taxes in America. Don't you ?
ashesly (16 days ago)
it was right, you would have nothing to hide.

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