What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and within communities from countries in which FGM is common. UNICEF estimated in 2016 that 200 million women living today in 30 countries—27 African countries, Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen—have undergone the procedures.
Typically carried out by a traditional circumciser using a blade, FGM is conducted from days after birth to puberty and beyond. In half the countries for which national figures are available, most girls are cut before the age of five. Procedures differ according to the country or ethnic group. They include removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glans; removal of the inner labia; and removal of the inner and outer labia and closure of the vulva. In this last procedure, known as infibulation, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid; the vagina is opened for intercourse and opened further for childbirth.
Consequences of FGM
There are an estimated 3 million girls at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation every year.
IF TRENDS CONTINUE, THE NUMBER OF GIRLS AND WOMEN UNDERGOING FGM WILL RISE SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE NEXT 15 YEARS.
In Somalia 95% of the girls face FGM, mostly between the age of 4 and 11.
Among girls aged 15 to 18 in Indonesia, 85% - 100& have undergone some form of FGM.
It is estimated that in some countries 1/3 of the girls dies after cutting. Sometimes they bleed to death within a couple of hours.
Increased risk of maternal and child morbidity and mortality due to obstructed labor.
If this practise continues, 50% of the women who have been cut are likely to give birth to a stillborn child, a child with severe brain damage or deformations caused by obstructed labour.
FGM is linked to menstrual and fertility problems, internal bleeding's, urinary tract infections and psychological issues. Because the cutting tools are often not disinfected, re-used on several girls or because of poor hygiene, sometimes this can lead to an infection with Tetanus or HIV.