Female Genital Mutilation
Between 120 million to 140 million women in the African continent are estimated to have undergone the inhumane tradition of Female Genital Mutilation (Martinelli & Ollé-Goig, 2012). FGM, a controversial topic is described as the partial or complete cutting of the external female genitalia. It is said to be a social ritual and tradition that is still taking place in 28 countries from Africa to Asia to the Middle East (Abdulcadir, Margairaz, Boulvain & Irion, 2011). Some of the countries include Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, , Benin, Somalia, Indonesia, Djibouti, Malaysia, Uganda, Yemen, Eritrea, Oman, Iran, Iraq and among immigrant communities in Europe, Canada, United States (Abdulcadir et al., 2011). According to the UNICEF, Genital cutting is actually supported by false beliefs and tradition that is directly related to illiteracy, poverty and women status. This practice is done in rural areas, by unpracticed women who use unsterile razors, blades, broken glass or knifes which leads to future complications for the young woman. This practice is also often done on girls age 4-11. Any girl who is does not undergo the procedure can bring shame to the family; this is the reason why all girls within a specific culture go through this type of practice.
History of FGM
It is not identified till now where the FGM actually originated but it seems that it was practiced before 5th century BC. It was known as Herodotus in 5th century then changed to Starbo in 25 BC and then to Soramus and Aietus in 138 AD and 575 AD. The difficulty to find FGM's origin lies behind its complexity in human history (Khaled, 2003).. A Greek scroll since 163 BC in the British museum mentions that girls are supposed to be mutilated in order to get their dowries, either an inheritance or money from the husband to the bride on their marriage. It was also written that the practice of FGM took place 500 years ago which is even before the birth of Jesus (Khaled, 2003).. When it started taking place in ancient Egypt, it was known as Aramaics. Since Islam appeared at 622 AD, it clearly shows that FGM is a pre Islamic tradition. It is neither in the Holy book nor said by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) (Khaled, 2003). Therefore, it is not accurate when people say that Islam recommends it since there are no grounds for it. Al-Azhar Institute in Egypt said that there have been challenged by two famous people, Sheikh Sayyed Tantawi and Sheikh Shaltoot (Khaled, 2003). According to the BBC, Sheikh Tantawi, who was the mufti of Eegypt during Hosni Mubarak's regime was against female circumcision calling it "un-Islamic" (2010). In addition to that, Sheikh Shaltoot who was the Grand Egyptian Mufti in 1950s, said that FGM is not obligatory and not required, neither under Islamic law nor medically and morally (Barsoum, Rifaat, El-Gibaly, Elwan, Forcier & Shukralla, 2008). Afroz Ali said, " A woman who was known as Umm ‘Attiyah was known in Madinah to perform female circumcision [probably even from before the advent of Islam] and the Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, said to her, “Umm ‘Attiyah, when you do circumcise, restrict yourself to cut a minute part and do not excise the glans. That will be far more pleasant for the wife and satisfying for the husband" (2012, para 10). But in many popular articles, it has been identified as a weak and inaccurate hadith since it isn't even said by any of the Companions of Prophet Mohammed (Ali, 2012). Types of FGM
It consists of four different types. As seen in the diagram, Type 1 includes Clitoridectomy in which the clitoris is completely or partially removed, whereas type 2 is Excision, where the labium is removed with the clitoris either partially or completely. The most painful type is type 3 which is Infibulation, refers to the complete removal of clitoris and labia majora and minora which are external genitals in female. This is followed...
References: . Abdulcadir, J., & Margairaz, C., & Boulvain, M., & Irion, O. (2011). Care of women with female genital mutilation/cutting. SMW. Retrieved 12 July, 2013, from http://www.smw.ch/scripts/stream_pdf.php?doi=smw-2011-13137
Khaled, M.A., (2003). Effects of female genital mutilation on childbirth. Handle.net. Retrieved 16 July, 2013, from http://hdl.handle.net/10265/463
Lindahl, A., Fretheim A., & Denison, E
Martinelli, M., & Ollé-Goig, JE. (2012). Female genital mutilation in Djibouti. NCBI. Retrieved 14 July, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3598278/pdf/AFHS1204-0412.pdf
Reform in the Muslim World
Sarah Boseley (2011, Sept 8). FGM: Kenya acts against unkindest cut. The Guardian, Retrieved on July 16, 2013 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/sarah-boseley-global-health/2011/sep/08/women-africa
Sheikh Tantawi, Egypt 's top cleric dies aged 81
TargetTV1 (Producer). (2009, Nov 14). Ali Goma Interview FGM MGF Channel1 Egypt [Video file]. Retrieved on July 16, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f8ZxdT-cC4
Whitehorn, J., Ayonrinde, O., & Maingay, S. (2002). Female Genital Mutilation: cultural and psychological implications. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, Vol. 17, No. 2. http://www.nmhdu.org.uk/silo/files/fgm-psychiatric-considerations.pdf
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