The facts on female genital mutilation are not that commonly known. The World Health Organization describes it as a procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs. It is practiced for non-medical purposes.
In the coming decade, 30 million girls are at potential risk of genital mutilation. The United Nations declared 6th February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance. It aims to create awareness and stop the genital mutilation that young girls have to go through. The methods of FGM is a violation of basic human rights. It reflects how deep-rooted inequality exists in some areas. Women have to face extreme discrimination. This old practice also violates the right to security, health, physical integrity, among others.
Let us learn some of the important factors of FGM.
Young Girls suffer from Female Genital Mutilation
- The average age at which the girl undergoes cutting is 10 years.
- FGM is a violation of girls and women as per human rights.
- FGM has affected over 200 million girls and women.
- The procedures can cause various health problems. Such as excessive bleeding, urinating problems, infections, cysts, complications in childbirth, and even an increased risk of newborn deaths.
- More than 18% of FGM is performed by health care professionals.
Facts on Female Genital Mutilation
- The procedure does not have any kind of benefits for females.
- Studies show that even mothers allow their daughters to be cut. Even if they don’t agree with the practice.
- According to an estimate, around 500,000 women living in the United States have undergone FGM.
- In countries such as Guinea, Chad, and Sierra Leone, more men are against this practice than women.
- The majority of men and women around the world believe that this tradition should be stopped.
- There is increased chances of infection, and menstruation problems, a lack of pleasure during sex, childbirth issues and so much more.
- In 2012, The UN General Assembly passed a resolution to eliminate the tradition by increasing advocacy and health care support in affected areas.
Many of us are not aware of these essential facts on female genital mutilation. Thus, here are a few points to answer your questions. Thus, upon knowing the facts one should spread the message to educate others.
Health Risk in Long Terms
- Chronic reproductive tract infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Genital infection
- Formation of cyst in later years
- Complication during childbirth
What exactly is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
The procedure of FGM involves the removal of a part or all of the female genitalia. It is all done for non-medical reasons. It is also called cutting or female circumcision.
Where is FGM Practiced?
FGM is still prevalent in over 30 countries including Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. However, they are more dominant in Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, and Sudan. Over 42% of the cases are recorded from these countries. Migrants have carried on the tradition to other continents like Asia, North and South America.
Why is FGM still practiced?
Most of the men and women who are familiar with this practice want it to end. But society’s pressure makes them continue with the tradition. Community leaders, extended family, and even the parents force young girls to undergo this procedure. They feel that the cutting will make the girls clean and ready for marriage.
Clinics are still performing FGM
Clinics and hospitals will only encourage the practice that should not exist in the first place. The long-term effects of getting the procedure does will be harmful whether you do it at home or in a hospital. Clinics must deny this practice.
How can we help end FGM?
Most of the countries where this practice exists have legislated against it. However, the practice still thrives in secret. The respective governments of the mentioned countries need to take action on it. However, educating people is helping fight the tradition. Organizations like World Vision and others are working tirelessly to empower girls and the communities. If this continues, the tradition can be stopped in one generation.
Spread the Message
FGM is more a global issue than a regional one. The practice being adopted by healthcare professionals in the mentioned countries have only given the tradition more value. Many people are still unaware that a practice like this exists. While 200 million girls have already become victims of this unnecessary and merciless tradition, many more are at a risk.
One may wonder what we could do from our place of privilege. We could educate those around us about the important facts on female genital mutilation. And donate to organizations working to uproot this practice. By sharing an article or donating a small dispensable amount, you have the chance to save someone’s life.