Harmful Traditional Practices; Female Genital Mutilation

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Academic Paper Writing
Anum Allahwala
The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of the female external reproductive organs which includes the clitoris, labia, mons pubis, and the urethral and vaginal openings. This practice of FGM is universally called as "female circumcision" (FC), justifying that it is similar to male circumcision. However, the degree of cutting is much more major, often impairing a woman's reproductive and sexual functions. According to World Health Organization (WHO) (2007) , “between 100 and 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to female genital mutilation. However there is no specific data available for Pakistan but some studies suggest that in Pakistan, the act of FGM is practiced amongst selected areas and communities for instance the Bohra Muslims. Aneka Chohan (2011) in her studies found that:

“In recent years, due to a rise in strict sect religious compliance by the Bohra Muslims, the practice of FGM has increased. Unless the Bohra chief, known as Dai, issues a law to forbid the act, the practice will remain firmly rooted in the people’s culture and will continue to be practiced.” The process of FGM is carried out for a large number of reasons and none of them having positive health implications. As a social cause, young girls and their families are forcefully compelled to give up on the tradition of FGM that has been taken place for ages. People who accustom FGM are inspired by the belief that by cutting the female external reproductive organs, a girl will feel no difficulty in abiding sexual acts. Moreover, the fear of experiencing pain that comes with the opening of the stitches of the narrowed covered vaginal opening is said to prevent further illicit relations amongst women and men. “However, women who have been

through the horrific experience of FGM have clarified that the practice has not benefited them in any way. In...
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