|Female Genital Mutilation|
What is Female Genital Mutilation?
In medical terms, WHO defines FGM as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
Types of Female Genital Mutilation
What are the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation?
Short Term complications:
Traditional practitioners often perform the procedure in poor sanitary conditions using razor blades, knives or bits of glass to cut the delicate tissue. Lack of hygiene may lead to severe infections and sepsis. The severe pain can cause shock. Other What are the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation? complications are tetanus, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissues. Furthermore, important blood loss can result in death.
In the longer term many women experience birth complications (for example obstetric fistula, C-sections, tearing), menstrual problems, painful sexual intercourse, HIV/AIDS, repeated FGM due to unsuccessful healing, keloid formation, psychological trauma and infertility. Many women might not be aware that the health problems they experience later in life are related to FGM and therefore they go unreported.
The reasons for the continuation of FGM vary according to the socio-cultural context where it exists. The most commonlly used justifications are:
Moral or religious values
Useful information about FGM
Eliminating female genital mutilation: An interagency statement (2008)
This new Interagency Statement is written and signed by a wider group of United Nations agencies than the previous one, to support advocacy for the abandonment of female genital mutilation. It is based on new evidence and lessons learnt over the past decade. It highlights the wide recognition of the human rights and legal dimensions of the problem and provides current data on the prevalence of female genital mutilation. It summarizes findings from research on the reasons why the practice continues, highlighting that the practice is a social convention which can only be changed through coordinated collective action by practising communities. It also summarizes recent research on its damaging effects on the health of women, girls and newborn babies. Drawing on experience from interventions in many countries, the new statement describes the elements needed, for both working towards complete abandonment of female genital mutilation, and caring for those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from its consequences.
To see a society in which African women and children fully enjoy their rights to live free from harmful traditional practices.
To promote gender equality and contribute to the improvement of the health status, social, economic, political, human rights and quality of life of African women and children through elimination of harmful traditional practices and the promotion of beneficial ones.