Culture is one of the most sensitive aspects of people’s lives, particularly as it relates to sexual and reproductive behavior, attitudes, and norms. Therefore, when we talk about female circumcision (I still cannot call it mutilation), we should always look at this cultural practice as one of many good and bad things that happen to women universally, and not only to African women but women worldwide.
Weekly global repro roundup: Foreign Policy’s “Sex Issue” has hits and misses; Uzbek Government is accused of “sterilization quotas”; women and girls in UK still vulnerable to female genital cutting; Muslim women in India envision a new marriage law.
Weekly global roundup: “virginity test” doctor is acquitted in Egypt while women’s football gathers momentum; condoms may literally save South Africa; a rosier picture of sex work in Thailand; journalist threatened for exposing female genital cutting in Liberia; and a steamy drama series in Kenya tackles sexual taboos.
While the UN is still celebrating International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, Tostan, a global rights and health organization, and others are enjoying “International Female Genital Cutting Abandonment Day.” The difference in phrasing is subtle, but the significance is huge.
A campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation has taken off in Senegal. What if, with the incredibly small sums of money needed by the United Nations campaign to fund these strategies across a continent, we could end FGM within the next ten to 15 years? Both UNICEF and UNFPA work to end FGM, though the GOP-led House of Representatives is seeking to eliminate funding for both.