Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is a barbaric practice commonly found in Africa, Asia, and several countries in the Middle East. It is the cutting of the clitoris, removal of some or all of the labia minora, or stitching shut of the labia majora. This is conducted to control the woman, to keep her from being sexually promiscuous, to prepare her for marriage, and for religious purposes.

Many who preform and even receive these acts see nothing wrong with the practice. However, this procedure is extremely invasive, controlling, and often deadly, as well as a massive violation of human rights. Lets go through some of the facts about the FGM as it is commonly known.

 

1. The Health Risks Are Severe And Often Deadly

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There are zero health benefits from female genital mutilation, only health risks that are often deadly. Some of the immediate results of female genital mutilation are severe pain, excessive bleeding, the swelling of the genital tissue, fever, infections, tearing of the genital area, problems with urination, inability for the tissue to properly heal, injury to the surrounding genital tissue, and in severe cases shock and death.

There are also long-term consequences of this act, if the woman is able to make it through the immediate complications, such as urinary problems (including urinary tract infections and painful urination), vaginal problems (including discharge, itching, and bacterial vaginosis), scar tissue problems, extreme pain and even tearing during intercourse, difficulty with intercourse, tearing during childbirth, the need to resuscitate the child after birth, and infant death.

2. Newborns To Young Adults Are Most Affected

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The most common age of a young woman undergoing female genital mutilation is 7–10 years old, but it occurs to children of a much younger age in several countries. Many women who have been put through the process have it done to their children due to social pressure and the inability to recognize the negative impact of the practice. It is stated that it’s done at such a young age to “reduce the trauma to the children.”

Many girls 14 or older who have not undergone female genital mutilation may still be at risk. Women who have daughters will often find themselves conforming to the social pressures to have their daughters cut to find a husband, even if the mother is against the practice and has not had the procedure herself. Many young adults may also find themselves undergoing the procedure in their late teens to be able to find a husband, as many husbands in these countries are more attracted to those who do have this done.

 

3. There Are Four Types of FGM

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Type 1 is clitoridectomy. This consists of the removal of the clitoral hood and the partial or full removal of the clitoris.

Type 2 is an excision. This is where the clitoris and labia minora are partially or even fully removed. This may or may not come with the excision of the labia majora.

Type 3 is the most severe. This is referred to as infibulation or pharaonic type. This consists of narrowing the vaginal orifice by creating a seal to cover the vaginal opening by cutting and arranging the labia minora and/or the labia majoria. This may or may not include the removal of the clitoris. The process of repositioning consists of stitching the cut areas together for a set amount of time, usually done by binding the girl’s legs together to allow scar tissue to build up and close the wound, creating a seal. This is only opened due to penetrative sexual intercourse, through surgery, or through tearing during childbirth following intercourse.

Type 4  is a general classification for all other types of female genital mutilation for non-medical purposes. This may include pricking, piercing, incisions, scraping, and cauterization. There are also a variety of less widely practiced form of female genital mutilation, including those done to aboriginal women in Australia by use of a certain kind of string, mentioned later in the list.

4. There Are Cases In India

Masooma who was cut 42 years ago is among 17 other women who have decided to come out in the open and create awareness about Female Genital Mutilation happening in India.

 

If you think FGM is a case happening only in Africa and tribal countries think again. It happens right here in India . The practice is called Khatna and is a taboo topic and is still prevalent in Bohra community in Mumbai and Delhi.

5. Countries Are Trying To Get FGM Medicalized

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In many countries where female genital mutilation is commonly practiced, a growing number of health care providers perform FGM, as well as supporting the medicalization of it. This would mean that it would become even more common and would be acknowledged as a beneficial medical practice. However, we know that it offers no benefits to the woman.

 

6.A Variety Of Tools Are Used

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The tools used in the procedures of female genital mutilation are not always clean, and usually, the people conducting the procedure are not well trained. Dirty scalpels, pieces of glass, razors, small knives, and even sharpened sticks are used in these processes.

Often, opossum string is used, made of opossum hair strands. We see this in cases of FGM in the Pitta-Patta tribe in Australian aboriginals. When a girl reaches puberty, the entire tribe gathers, and an elderly man conducts the procedure. He first enlarges the vaginal orifice by tearing downward with his fingers bound in opossum string. Often following is the compulsory intercourse with several men.

7.There Are Severe Sexual Consequences

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Women who have undergone female genital mutilation often have a harder time having an orgasm, they have a less active sex drive, and often feel that they are not able to sexually please their partners. It is also more difficult for their vagina to self-lubricate during sex, which often leads to tearing and painful intercourse. Not only that—childbirth can cause the closed opening to tear, causing hemorrhaging, tearing even of the surrounding area, and even death to the child.

8. There Are Also Severe Psychological Consequences

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There are a multitude of psychological health consequences for a woman who undergoes female genital mutilation. She may develop post-traumatic stress disorder, other related stress disorders, depression, personality disorders, and a low sense of self-worth.

Data from a study conducted in 2010, of women in Northern Iraq who underwent female genital mutilation, demonstrates this. 45.6 percent or the women experienced some form of an anxiety disorder, and 13.9 percent were shown to be suffering from some type of personality disorder.

9.Female Genital Mutilation Is A Massive Violation Of Human Rights

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This seems like a fairly obvious statement, but many people in the countries that practice female genital mutilation feel otherwise. Meanwhile, the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Human Rights Committee have all been actively working to fight against it, condemning the practice altogether.

 

10.Numerous Human Rights Campaigns Fight To End Female Genital Mutilation

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There are difficulties when it comes to stopping female genital mutilation. However, numerous human rights campaigns work to educate people about the negative effects of female genital mutilation, to create an understanding of the impact it is having. Some of these sites include End FGM European Network, Equality Now, Network Against Female Genital Mutilation, and The Orchid Project to name a few.

With knowledge comes power. If we educate ourselves on the issues that negativity impact these women and spread the message, we can help to free these women and put a stop to the practice altogether.

source : Listverse