While being on a reality show like Housewives chronicles the glamourous lifestyle of its cast, many have experienced real tragedy. Chanel Ayan from The Real Housewives of Dubai is speaking publicly against the trauma she endured in Africa as a child. The reality star says that she was forced to undergo genital mutilation when she was just 5-years-old as a means of being forced to remain a virgin until marriage. She eventually had the painful procedure of having it reversed.

Ayan speaks out against genital mutilation

During the latest episode, fans saw Ayan get emotional about the mutilation she received as a child. In her interview, she explained that it’s part of her culture.


“I’m a survivor. I felt that I was utterly betrayed by my culture and my family. This is just a barbaric practice and it shouldn’t be happening to young girls. It happened to be thirty-five years ago, and I’ve never gotten over it," she explained.

Ayan says it’s something that’s accepted in her culture. “In my culture, it’s done to keep women virgins. Everybody’s a virgin in my culture because of this. Because how are you going to have sex when you’re sewn as a girl until you’re married? It’s a way to keep men satisfied. This is practiced in over twenty-eight African countries: the Middle East, Syria, Yemen,” she explained.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by A Y A N (@chanelayan)

“I think the trauma is something that I will live with for the rest of my life," she explained. "This is why I want to talk about it, because I honestly don’t want this to happen to anyone because I know exactly how it feels, and it’s not good."

Ayan added: “A lot of girls get depressed, hormones are imbalanced–a lot of young girls die.”

Ayaan to raise proceeds

The star is using her pain to help other girls.  Because she can relate to the pain of young girls going through genital mutilation she is doing something about it.

She will use her forthcoming cosmetic line Ayan Beauty to raise proceeds to help bring genital mutilation to an end.