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.
FGM is often justified with direct reference to fixed gender roles, how women “should” be and the possibilities for financial security FGM supposedly affords. Breast augmentation surgery is carried out for similar reasons with similar risks and results. Both interventions have no discernible health benefits and have potentially negative impact on women’s sexual health, as well as a number of other potential serious health effects. How can we stop them?
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.
I hope Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney puts this in the Congressional Record.
Forced mutilation of some 120 young women and girls in Uganda last week has sparked a public debate inside the country about the limitations of a new law and the politics behind the practice.
Find out what REALLY WORKS in improving reproductive health and women’s empowerment around the world.
Girls in the Northeastern region of Somalia, Puntland, will no longer be subject to a tradition of genital cutting after 14 villages pledge to abandon the practice.
Until 2007, Colombians believed that female genital mutilation was a practice unique to some African countries. But last year we learned that it has long been practiced by one of Colombia’s aboriginal groups.