Female genitalmutilation is a dangerous and dehumanizing traditional practice that needs to be stopped. It has long term complications that might affect quality of life. Many efforts were done to stop FGM with touchable progress but every now and then FGM complication is still seen. However, more legislation is not enough to stop the practice.
Despite over 40 years of discussion and debate regarding Female GenitalMutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), this topic remains controversial and emotive, and the practice continues. FGM/C is defined as ‘all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons’. 1 There are four main classifications of FGM/C: (I) Clitoridectomy - partial or total
Providing information and education to women and girls living with female genitalmutilation (FGM) is in line with international human rights, can be empowering, and can be an important influence on the healthcare-seeking behavior that this population exerts. Such interventions, which include information on women’s health as well as the health effects of FGM, can also have positive effects on women, girls, and other community members by reducing the willingness of women to recommend FGM for their own daughters and helping to overcome the shyness among women to discuss the procedure. 1 Specific information about interventions used to treat
Women and girls living with female genitalmutilation (FGM) are more likely to experience psychological problems than women without FGM. As well as psychological support, this population may need additional care when seeking surgical interventions to correct complications of FGM. Recent WHO guidelines recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for women and girls experiencing anxiety disorders, depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The guidelines also suggest that preoperative counselling for deinfibulation, and psychological support alongside surgical interventions, can help women manage the physiological and psychological changes following surgery.
The Case Against the Medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation Les mutilations gknitales sont socialement et psychologiquement noczues pour lesfernmes Plutbt que de les abolir, lespro mutilatricespr[.]
In this article we attempt to identify the impact of social e¤ects on the decision to practice excision on girls, based on the methodology used by Bertrand, Luttmer and Mallainathan (2000). We are particularly interested in social determinants, and make use of the heterogeneity of behaviors according to area of residence, ethnicity and religion. We focus on the interaction between the density and the quality of contacts to infer a social network. We use the percentage of individuals of the same ethnic group and religion, living in the same survey area, to measure the quantity of contacts, and the percentage of excised women of the same ethnic group and religion to measure the quality of contacts. To implement our trials, we use data from the Burkina Faso’s Demographic and Health Surveys 2003, which supplies information on the prevalence of female genitalmutilation (FGM) and on the characteristics of Burkina Fasan households. Our results show that social pressure is strongly correlated to the decision to practice excision in Burkina Faso households.
According to Resource Library , the history of FGM/C is not well known but the practice dated back at least 2000 years. It is not known when or where the tradition of Female GenitalMutilation and Cutting originated from. It was believed that it was practised in ancient Egypt as a sign of distinction amongst the aristocracy. Some believe it started during the slave trade when black slave women entered ancient Arab societies. Some believe FGM/C began with the arrival of Islam in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Some believe the practice developed independently among certain ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa as part of puberty rites. Overall, in history, it was believed that FGM/C would ensure women's virginity and reduction in the female desire. Many commentators believe that the practice evolved from the earliest times in primitive communities that wished to establish control over the sexual behaviour of women. The Romans performed a technique involving slipping of rings through the labia majora of female slaves to prevent them from becoming pregnant and the Scoptsi sect in Russia performed FGM/C to ensure virginity. The practice is supported by traditional beliefs, values and attitudes. In some communities it is valued as a rite of passage to womanhood (for example in Kenya and Sierra Leone) while others value it as a means of preserving a girl's virginity until marriage, (for example in Sudan, Egypt, and Somalia). In most of these countries, FGM is a pre-requisite to marriage and marriage is vital to a woman's social and economic survival. It is believed by some African women that if their daughters are not circumcised, they would not get a husband. This (FGM/C) harmful tradition has been guided by taboos from generation by generation. FGM/C is rooted in culture and some believe it is done for religious reasons, but it has not been confined to a particular culture or religion. FGM/C has neither been mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah. It has been highlighted that FGM/C was practised in the United Kingdom and United States by the gynecologists to cure women of so- called "female weakness".
Female GenitalMutilation (FGM) also referred to as 'cutting' (WHO 2012) has become an area of increasing concern in the UK and other developed countries due to migration, particularly from Sub-Saharan Africa (Bewley et al. 2010). However in the 28 countries for which statistics are available, the incidence varies considerably from under 1% of the female population in Uganda to almost 98% of women in Somalia (WHO 2012). It can be assumed therefore, that prevalence in the UK and other Western countries is closely related to patterns of migration and asylum. While FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, and taking children abroad for the procedure a criminal offence since 2003, British born girls are still being cut, with 112 cases reported in 2016-2017 (Moffat 2017). All together over 5000 new cases were reported during the same time span, although most of these were in girls and women born outside the UK. Research by City University in 2015 estimated that there are over 100,000 women between the ages of 15-49 who have had FGM, currently living in the UK (Cook 2016). Such statistics demonstrate the importance of ongoing investigation into how and where girls and women are being subjected to FGM, despite current legislation prohibiting both the procedure and foreign travel for the purpose of FGM.
According to Bureau of Women, Children and Youth (BoWCY) of SNNPR, women comprise about 50.3% of the region's population (Bureau of Women, 2013). Despite their significant share in the population, women in the region are not benefiting from development projects. HTPS are supposed to be among the factors inhibiting the participation and gains of women in various sectors (Ambachew Teferi et al., 2015). Traditional practices could be, operationally defined as customary acts transmitted from past generations and likely to be passed to the next. According to a Joint WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA statement, the ''norms of and behavior based on age, life stage, gender and social class are often referred as traditional practices’’ (NCTPE, 2008). Knowledge of HTP prior to 1998 comes from travelers and explorers for the past and, for the more recent times, from researchers and regional/zonal reports. A good summary of their observations is documented (NCTPE, 2008). Similarly, extensive accounts of body image alteration and other practices among ethnic groups in southwest Ethiopia are also recorded (Bender, 1976; Egldam, 2008; Cerulli, 1956). More recent research has focused on nutritional taboos and food avoidance (Braukaemper, 1982; Bogalech Alemu, 1987); on early marriage (Tsehai Berhane, 1970; Hailegebriel Dagne, 1974); skin cutting traditional practices in relation to HIV/AIDS in particular (Haile Kinfe, 1994). Others deal more broadly with HTP in general with emphasis on GenitalMutilation (Almaze Hailesilassie, 1994; Amare Dejenie, 1996). A number of general socio-cultural and economic studies in different geographic and ethnic groups give valuable information on traditional practices. In order to mitigate the multidimensional effects of HTPS on the lives of women, generating well organized trend analysis could undoubtedly be invaluable in
Kouba&Mausher (1985) states that though the exact date of female genital circumcision and when female genitalmutilation started is not very clear, existing documents and Greek historians and geographers, such as Herodotus (425-23 AD) show that female circumcision happened in Ancient Egypt and the time of the Pharaohs. Consequently, Egypt is considered as the source country of female circumcision. Female Circumcision has prevailed during the years of 1400 B.C to 2000 B.C in Egypt (Drumma, 2010), apparently it was done in religious ceremonies and rites (Ahmadi, 2013). According to existing evidences, the Egyptians are considered as the pioneers of this tradition although female circumcision has also moved to other regions of the world – especially Africa. Momoh (2005) states that female circumcision was present a long time ago and among other nations of the world including the Romans who in order to avoid their female slaves from pregnancy, installed some rings on the two sides of the outer lips of the uterus. The procedure, according to AID (2013 b), is carried out at a variety of ages, ranging from shortly after birth to sometime during the first pregnancy. It most commonly occurs between the ages of 0 to 15 years and the age is decreasing in some countries. The practice has been linked in some countries with rites of passage for women. FGM is usually performed by traditional practitioners using a sharp object such as knife, razor or broken glass.
FORWARD’s new collaborative work with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the City University is a welcome attempt to address this gap. “A Statistical Study to Estimate the Prevalence of Female GenitalMutilation in England and Wales”, provides reliable data to inform and plan better maternity and gynaecological care and related support services for girls and women affected by FGM. This study suggests that almost 33,000 girls under the age of 15 are potentially at risk of FGM in England and Wales. It also suggests that the practice is on the increase. It is hoped that the results of the study will support the planning and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy in the UK that will help to expedite efforts to end FGM within a generation.
FGM has been defined as a violation of human rights by both the United Nations and World Health Organisation and in many countries laws have been passed to outlaw the practice (Behrendt et al, 2005). In the UK the Prohibition of “Female Circumcision” Act came into force in 1985, making it an offence to carry out, aid, abet or procure the performance by another person of any form of FGM, except for specific medical purposes. Further legislation came into force in March 2004, in the form of the Female GenitalMutilation Act 2003, which made it an offence for FGM to be performed anywhere on UK nationals or UK permanent residents. This closed the loophole in the 1985 act, which had given room for parents to take their children abroad for the procedure (Dorkenoo et al, 2007). FGM has been recognised as a denial of the girl child‟s fundamental human rights to her physical integrity and natural sexuality and as a result has been incorporated into the Working Together to Safeguard Children Policy (2006). Following the mass immigration in the 1980s from countries with a high prevalence of FGM (e.g. Sudan, Somalia), it has become an issue on political and heath agendas in many countries, including the UK (FORWARD, 2000). Many countries with high prevalence rates for circumcision have also enacted laws that prohibit FGM however, the practice appears to continue. This raises questions about how well enforced these laws are in some parts of the world. Barstow (1999) points out that despite FGM being made a crime in many countries few, if any, cases have been prosecuted. He suggests that FGM is now recognised as gender-specific child abuse, child exploitation and torture. However Barstow suggests that it is the dissemination of information about FGM, the emphasis on education and the realisation of equal rights for women that has ultimately proved to be more successful than legislation.
A number of official reports have concluded without evidence that the practice to be non-existent in Sri Lanka. A WHO report on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in 2008 reported a “zero score” for female genitalmutilation in Sri Lanka . UNICEF’s national report card on essential indicators relevant to maternal and child health in Sri Lanka collected since 2005 states female genitalmutilation have remained “nil”. A joint Ministry of Health (MOH) and WHO report on Violence and Health in Sri Lanka in 2008 stated categorically that female genitalmutilation “do not exist in Sri Lanka” . The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) – the state organization recording the status of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Sri Lanka has not included indicator 5.3.2 on ‘Proportion of girls and women aged 15-49 years who have undergone female genitalmutilation, by age’ .
Female GenitalMutilation (FGM) describes the partial or total removal of the external genitalia of the girl child for non- therapeutic reasons (WHO, 2007). It is also known as female genital cutting or female circumcision (WHO, 2007). The Nigeria national prevalence of FGM is 25% (NDHS, 2013). The prevalence varies among different zones in Nigeria, being highest in the South-west (47.5%) and least in the North-east (2.9%) (Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 2013). However, FGM is not restricted to Nigeria, it is a world wide phenomenon. Yoder and Khan (2008) reported various prevalence from different countries as derived from a variety of local and sub-national studies. It is highest among the predominantly Muslim nations. The prevalence in Egypt was 95.8% as at 2005, Guinea 95.6% as at 2005 and Mali 95.6% as at 2001. Surprisingly, Niger that is also predominantly Muslim had a prevalence of 2.2% as at 2006. This raises the question of religion as a determinant of the practice of FGM.
Female genitalmutilation or cutting (FGM/C) involves medically unnecessary cutting of parts or all of the external female genitalia. It is outlawed in the United States and much of the world but is still known to occur in more than 30 countries. FGM/C most often is performed on children, from infancy to adolescence, and has signi ﬁ cant morbidity and mortality. In 2018, an estimated 200 million girls and women alive at that time had undergone FGM/ C worldwide. Some estimate that more than 500 000 girls and women in the United States have had or are at risk for having FGM/C. However, pediatric prevalence of FGM/C is only estimated given that most pediatric cases remain undiagnosed both in countries of origin and in the Western world, including in the United States. It is a cultural practice not directly tied to any speci ﬁ c religion, ethnicity, or race and has occurred in the United States. Although it is mostly a pediatric practice, currently there is no standard FGM/C teaching required for health care providers who care for children, including pediatricians, family physicians, child abuse pediatricians, pediatric urologists, and pediatric urogynecologists. This clinical report is the ﬁ rst comprehensive summary of FGM/C in children and includes education regarding a standard-of-care approach for examination of external female genitalia at all health supervision examinations, diagnosis, complications, management, treatment, culturally sensitive discussion and counseling approaches, and legal and ethical considerations.
The case selection in this study is limited to all the cases regarding asylum application on grounds of Female GenitalMutilation. This includes cases where women are seeking asylum for themselves, but also cases where children are the applicants. There will be no difference made between cases where the applicants already have suffered from FGM and appli- cants who seek protection from the procedure. The primary cases will be cases decided by national courts from the Member States and additional cases from the European Court of Human Rights, even though it is not a European Union body, will be taken into account. As both cases from the ECtHR are referred originally from Member States of the EU and are later consequently used again in case law by the Member States, they add valuable knowledge to the national case law.
Female genitalmutilation (FGM) – defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) agencies as “ the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” is a deeply rooted tradition in many communities in 28 countries in Africa and in some countries in Asia and the Middle East , ranging from 0.6% to 98% of the female population [WHO 2011]. Across countries in western Africa the prevalence of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) was 94%, 79%, 74% and 72% in Sierra Leone, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, respectively, whereas in Ghana, Niger and
The foundations of FGM and the reasons it persists can be explained through comparing perspectives of individuals within and outside of FGM atmospheres. Those who perform female genitalmutilation defend it on the basis of tradition and culture, underlining how numerous difficulties arise within efforts to terminate the practice. A study conducted in Hargeisa, Somalia, collected data from 215 randomly selected men and women on the attitudes of the practice of FGM. One of the findings was that the Sunna form of cutting, a “less harmful” way, is a requirement on the basis of religion and thus must be performed (Gele et al., “Have” 7). Female genitalmutilation is most prevalent in the country of Somalia, with 98% of females being circumcised (Gele et al., “Attitudes” 2). Through this extremely high statistic, it is evident how religious community leaders have instilled its necessity upon their people. It is unjust that religious leaders are encouraging and fighting for the continuation of this practice through the means of religious requirement. Women are internalizing this social pressure and believing they must undergo FGM. In another study, 168 Iranian midwives were interviewed. When asked if FGM is a religious requirement that should be done, results showed that 142 of the women agreed to this statement (Zahra et al. 3830). Thus, the midwives, who are performing the practice of female genitalmutilation, view FGM as religiously necessary. This is primarily due to their environments shaping how they perceive this practice. It is not seen as an invasion upon their rights or as medically unnecessary or dangerous to their well-being, but rather as a requirement to live as a welcomed and respected member of their community as well as an entrance into womanhood. In an additional study that provided a questionnaire to 9,159 women in Egypt, 5,858 women agreed that FGM is an important piece of religion (Jansson et al. 45). If families do not abide by “religious law,” consequences will result. These consequences include mass discrimination and hatred, abandonment from communities, and even the inability of a woman to marry (Gele et al., “Attitudes” 2).