Around the world, an estimated one hundred and twenty-five females, who are alive today, have been put in danger due to female genital mutilation. Twenty-nine countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa still significantly practice female genital mutilation. Thirty million girls are at risk for mutilation within the next ten years. Most of the females subjected to the genital mutilation have it done against their will, this needs to be stopped.
There are four types of female genital mutilation. “Type I: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy). Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision). Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal oriﬁce with creation of a covering seal by cutting and a-positioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (inﬁbulation). Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization” (Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation, 2008). Female genital mutilation is most often carried out on girls between birth and 15 years. There are some cases of adult and even married women being subjected to the procedure. The age at which female genital mutilation is carried out changes with local traditions and different circumstances.
Victims of female genital mutilation suffer emotionally and physically. Victims of female genital mutilation are at risk for many health complications. In some cases, female genital mutilation can result in death. When these operations take place, they are performed by a village doctor or mid-wife. The procedure is done with objects such as sharp rocks, razors, scissors, and other sharp objects. It is common to have the operation tools only being cleaned in oil or water, if they have been cleaned at all. After effects of female genital mutilation usually consist of shock from pain or loss of blood, hemorrhaging, blood poisoning, chronic pelvic infections, childbirth complications, infection, fever, psychological issues, and lack of orgasm.
There are some that are in favor of female genital mutilation. “As a supporter of both female and male circumcision, I believe it is time to denounce the flagrant racism and sexism that inspire anti-FGM campaigns, such as Equality Now, and anti-semitism that underlie MGM campaigns as well as the obvious Islamophobia that characterizes both anti-FGM and anti-MGM campaigns. If we are disgusted by the dubious tactics and demonizing language of radical Right to Life advocates, why do we tolerate the use of the same contemptible, psychological weapons against circumcised African women and girls who support their traditions?” (Sia Ahmadu F.) Some will argue that female genital mutilation is a part of some peoples’ culture. They will also say that most of the women and girls have the mutilation done willingly, the key word here is most. There are millions of females that have the mutilation done and do not consent. The females that do not consent are the ones that need to be fought for.
Female genital mutilations are a violation of a females’ rights to health and well-being. “What is clear from this report is that legislation alone is not enough. The challenge now is to let girls and women, boys and men speak out loudly and clearly and announce they want this harmful practice abandoned” (Pruthi P 2013). “Perhaps one of the most striking revelations is the degree of discrepancy between the low support for FGM/C and the high prevalence of its practice. Even in countries in which most girls and women are cut, a significant proportion of the population opposes the practice” (Pruthi P 2013). Even though female genital mutilations are practiced around the world, it needs to be stopped.
Female Genital Cutting 2015
Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation 2008
Pruthi P. New UNICEF Report on Female Genital Mutilation/cutting: Turning Opposition Into Action 2013 http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_69881.html
Sia Ahmadu F. Why the Term Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is Ethnocentric, Racist and Sexist- Let’s Get Rid Of It! Hysteria
Copyright © 2017 Kate Stap
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