Female Genital Mutilation
Zainab Feroz Khan
Table of Contents
Procedures of Female Genital Mutilation
Review of Literature
Types of Female Genital Mutilations
Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation
Harmful Consequences of Female Genital Mutilation
Physical Complications of FGM
Psychological Complications of FGM
Female Genital Mutilation as Violation of Human Rights
International Conventions and Declarations related to FGM
Social Context of FGM
‘Destructive Operation’ is the term, which has been given to Female Genital Mutilation, a barbaric practice that occurs even to this day in different parts of the world. Before the coining of the word ‘female genital mutilation’, it was known as female circumcision. During this operation, the goal is to inhibit a woman’s sexual feelings done through partly or entirely removing the female genitals. This is often performed before puberty, which means when the child is between the ages of four to eight. However now, it is being performed on the nurslings who are only a couple of days, weeks or months old (Desert Flower Foundation n.d). Practiced in many countries, it is an old age tradition. Any other injury to a girl’s or woman’s genitalia apart from reasons other than medical ones is also considered female genital mutilation. According to a report by the World Health Organization, health care professionals in a clinic setting carry out more than 18% of all the female genital mutilation procedures; however, in many parts of the world non-medical practitioners who carry out childbirths and male circumcisions also perform FGM (What is Female Genital Mutilation, n.d) also carry it out. FGM is widely performed under septic conditions without anesthesia. This can cause severe pain, death or permanent health problems. The practitioners look at this concept as a very important part of their cultural and ethnic identities despite of the risks involved. However, others take this practice as a religious obligation. Procedures of Female Genital Mutilation
Special knives, razors, scissors or pieces of glass are used to carry out this procedure. In Eastern Sudan, it has been noted that people used sharp stones on rare occasions to carry out FGM. Moreover, in some parts of Ethiopia, cauterization (burning) is also practiced. In some areas of Gambia, fingernails have been used to pluck out the clitoris of the babies. This is such an unhygienic process because in most occasions instruments are re-used without being sterilized or cleansed (Turman 2001). Only some urban areas use anesthesia, otherwise it is hardly used. The incision is made while the girl is lying down on a mat, held by a number of women. In order to stop the bleeding, the wounds are frequently healed by mud or animal dung. In rare cases it happens that the operation is performed by medical personnel in health clinics or hospitals. In most cases, the local mid wives or the elderly of the community practices it. The age at which FGM is done varies ethnically and geographically. In Nigeria, Ethiopia and Mauritania, the operation is performed on the newborns, or within the first few weeks of birth. In Tanzania and Kenya, women are excised on the wedding night. In Mali, women undergo the operation after the birth of their first child. However, FGM is more often performed on girls who are in the age brackets of four to eight years, or before their menstruation. This practice is more common in areas where there is a high rate of illiteracy, poverty, hunger, unsanitary conditions and where less has been done in the field of health and sanitation. Moreover, in places were characteristically, the economic and social status of women is low. Origins
A lot of research has been done, but it is hard to find documentation and...
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Barr, M. (2005). Intersex Surgery, Female Genital Cutting, and the Selective Condemnation of â€œCultural Practicesâ€ . Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 40, 71-140.
Chauhan, R. (2002). The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective by Ellen Gruenbaum;Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Laws and Policies Worldwide by Anika Rahman; NahidToubia. NWSA Journal, 14(2), 230-233.
Hayes, R. O. (1975). Female Genital Mutilation, Fertility Control, Women 's Roles, and the Patrilineage in Modern Sudan: A Functional Analysis. American Anthropological Association, 2(4), 617-633.
Kakenya Ntaiya | Profile on TED.com. (n.d.). TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://www.ted.com/speakers/kakenya_ntaiya.html
Organisation, t. W. (n.d.). Types of Female Genital Mutilation. The Intactivism Pages. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.circumstitions.com/FGM-defined.html
Turman, D. T. (n.d.). Female Genital Mutilation. World Health Organizaion. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from www.who.int/frh-whd
What Is Female Genital Mutilation?
What is female genital mutilation?. (n.d.). Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/fgm-what.htm
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