Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure performed on young girls that are as early as a few days old. Female Genital Mutilation is one of the worst forms of abuse to young girls and women and should be stopped by creating awareness on this cause. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as “a procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or injury to other female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” Female genital mutilation is also known as, female genital cutting, and female circumcision. It is practiced in North Eastern, Western, and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and in immigrant communities in North America and Europe. This practice is not specifically evolved from any religion. It is a procedure that is carried out in order to continue the cultural practice. There are four types of FGM which are: clitoridectomy, clitoridotomy, infibulation, and any other type of procedure carried out to injure the female’s genitals. There are many reasons as to why people have the procedure carried out on their daughters but they are all mostly social and cultural factors. FGM has been declared a human rights violation by the United Nation as it violates the rights of the child, the rights of women, and many others. Many campaigns have started running in order to create awareness on FGM and to encourage many countries to speak out against FGM by criminalizing the procedure of FGM.
The World Health Organization claims that there are four types of FGM. The first major type is called a clitoredectomy. A clitoridectomy is either the partial or total removal of the clitoris, or sometimes the labia minora. (Zaryckyj, 2009) This is mostly practiced in Sub-Saharan Africa, East Africa, Egypt, Sudan Indonesia, and the Arabian Peninsula. The Second type of female circumcision is clitoridotomy, which is the splitting or removal of the prepuce. (Zaryckyj, 2009) This type is the least damaging type of female circumcision, and is also the equivalent of the removal of the foreskin of the penis. This type is also becoming more common in the United States in cosmetic procedures. The third type of female circumcision is infibulation, which is the removal of the clirtoris, labia minora, sometimes the labia majora, and then the stitching of the vaginal opening while leaving only a small hole open to let urine and menstrual blood through. (Zaryckyj, 2009) This procedure can make sexual intercourse difficult, painful, and dangerous if the opening is made too small. This type is done to reduce any sexual sensation and to make sure that the woman does not have sex before marriage. Any other type of procedure done that involves injuring a woman’s genitals is considered a “fourth type” of female circumcision. (Zaryckyj, 2009)
Contrary to western beliefs, Female circumcisions are not an Islamic practice. Female circumcision was practiced before the existence of the religion of Islam and before the Prophet Mohammed was born. The topic of female circumcisions was first written about in Egyptian hieroglyphics. In fact, nowhere in Muslim context does it say that God does not approve of the clitoris. If anything, in the Quran, it says that a man and wife should pleasure each other during sex, therefore meaning that God does approve of the clitoris. There are many reasons as to why this is done. Many people believe that the clitoris is not clean and is removed for hygienic purposes. In many countries, women remain unmarried if she does not undergo this procedure because they are considered to be morally ‘unclean’ and also not considered ‘pure’. In many cultures, sex before marriage is unacceptable. Since clitoridectomies and infibulations prevent a woman from feeling any sexual sensation, these procedures are encouraged in order to preserve the woman’s honor and to prevent her from losing her virginity. However, some people believe that female circumcision provides women...
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