Nov 10, 2017 in Medicine

Female Genital Mutilation

One of the hotly discussed social topics across the globe is that of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Also known as female circumcision, the practices that is so common among the several communities and other tribes in the African continent. According to Mustafa, female genital mutilation originated from Egypt during times of colonization and spread to other countries within the continent. Additionally, the warlords in Africa also advocated for practice in order to alienate them from white people. It is also important to note that cultural factors have been the reason behind the practice. Communities in Africa even perform ritual ceremonies in honor of those who have undergone the cut. Notably, the societal beliefs, norms, social ambiguities, social hierarchies and Christianity are the principal reasons why many communities in Africa practice female genital mutilation. This paper discusses female genital mutilation and violence, how lack of education in promotes female genital mutilation practices, and the general consequences of female genital mutilation (7-34).  

Many social analysts associate female genital mutilation with violence. Undoubtedly, female genital mutilation affects the right to life in situations when death occurs resulting from the mutilation procedure. When comes to the right to physical integrity, the practice violates the right to liberty and security of women and girls because they are subjected to the practice unwillingly, before they even reach the age where they can decide for themselves if they need to undergo the cut or otherwise. In addition, the violent nature at which communities in Africa such as those in Egypt force women into the practice is ugly and violates their fundamental human rights.  Medics associate the practice with complications, which have adverse physical and emotional effects (Dorkenoo 21-54).

Mostly carried out minus anesthesia, statistics from WHO indicates that FGM is so common in Africa. Over 150 million young girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation across the globe, at least according to World Health Organization. In many African countries such as Mali, Kenya and Sudan, the practice is so common.  According to statistics from various African governments, the Somali community commonly practices female genital mutilation. Lack of education is one of the reasons why various communities in Africa practice female genital mutilation. In most cases, because the levels of literacy in Africa are low, people do not understand the dangers associated with female genital mutilation. In some communities, for example the Somali, people do not gather to learn or talk about female genital mutilation, as it is a taboo. Consequently, the lack of knowledge means that the practice is live among these communities. Additionally, due to religious and cultural constrictions, professionals have found it hard to educate people all matters pertaining female genital mutilation (World Health Organisation 1).

One of the chief reasons why various communities in Africa practice female genital mutilation is the fact that they believe it control the sexual urge of both women and girls. In Kenya, Mali, Sudan, Egypt and Uganda, some communities perfume the practice in order to make women remain faithful to their partners. Some Ethiopian communities believe that during birth, if the clitoris touches the head of the baby, the baby might die. This is why they perform the practice.  Other communities practice female genital mutilation because they believe that if the clitoris remains uncut, it might grow longer and longer and become like a penis, and therefore in order to preserve femininity, it is good to trim it. Nevertheless, female genital mutilation is a monster that causes serious infliction to women and girls (Boyle, 2002, pp. 27-81).

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