Female Genital Mutilation
The following article about the health status of women is shocking. I personally cannot fathom the horror and pains women go through around the world. I was unaware that something of this magnitude exists until I came across this horrific issue during some of my research work. Before this I was IGNORANT and I feel sorry for my lack of understanding and knowledge. Please feel free to pass on information if you have gone through or witnessed this. Let us all together educate ourselves. Every girl/woman has a right to education. She has to learn (educate herself) to come out of the ages of ignorance and cultural norms. Let us together make a difference.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the altering or cutting of a girl’s genital part for non medical reasons. This procedure can cause severe bleeding, problems urinating and complications during childbirth. It is a cultural practice continued since past 2000 years in the continent of Africa. According to a report of WHO (World Health Organization), 92 million girls from age 10 years or above have under gone FGM. Also an estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM. It is also occasionally performed in North America, Europe and Australia by the families who have migrated.
These are the few reasons that this practice has been prorogated.
- To reduce the sexual drive of a woman. So that a woman would not go to any other man after marriage which brings shame and disgrace to the family and society.
- It enhances fertility, makes the woman look beautiful.
- As an initiation of girls to womanhood, social integration, maintenance of social cohesion.
- Some believe if a woman is not gone through this procedure, she is unclean and is not allowed to touch food or water.
- The clitoris is cut because they think it grows with the age of woman.
- It cleans up the vagina.
- Men will get more pleasure if the woman has been through this.
Most of the time, this procedure is done without any anesthesia. The girl is held down tightly by other women so that she would not move. The midwife who performs this would use items like tin-lid, blades, glass, knives. A girl suffers from bleeding or hemorrhaging, infection, unbearable pain and trauma. Also a woman can suffer with HIV and the risk is increased as the same unsterilized instruments are used on several others. In Sudan, 20-25% of female infertility is linked to FGM. Apart from all this there are many psychological problems women go through because of the traumatic experience. She is forever altered. He body and soul is crushed and wounded.
The WHO, in 1997, issued a joint statement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) against the practice of FGM. A new statement, with wider United Nations support, was then issued in February 2008 to support increased advocacy for the abandonment of FGM. FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.