FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
Every February 6th of the year has been dedicated to celebrate the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, about 140 million women subjected to FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Every year about 3 million girls are at risk. February 6th is a day to raise awareness and educate the citizen via UN’s campaign about the health issues of FGM internationally since 2003. This campaign is also to encourage the people to end such practices related to FGM to protect women’s rights.
The UN held a lot of activities and also events to create awareness about FGM on this day such as public conference and forums. The activities are also including making a policy and law that related about FGM. Even this day is not a public holiday globally, but it is a public observance in an international level. The facts about FGM concern are:
It’s been estimated that about 200 million girls from several of countries are affected with FGM.
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About 15 million teenagers of age 15 to 19 estimated to be affected by 2030.
It’s recorded that young girls under 14 in Gambia, Mauritania, Indonesia and several other countries are showing prevalence of FGM. The highest prevalence so far is recorded in Somalia (98%), Guinea (97%) and Djibouti (93%).
The health issues that caused by FGM are including infections, cysts and increased the risk of newborn deaths.
Some countries are looking at FGM as a violation to human rights and banned the procedure.
What Are The Forms OF Mutilation?
Harmful procedures that been taken to the female genital without any medical reasons is considered mutilation. There are traditional practices in certain countries called infibulation. Infibulation is a procedure where a seal is created to the vagina. This procedure can cause infections and reproductive problems to the teenager or adult.
Some of unsafe circumcision also considered mutilation if the procedure it performed by a non- competent person. A non-competent person is the one who have no adequate knowledge about circumcision and it can cause trauma effect and bleeding if the circumcision is not done correctly.
Other harmful procedures such as extreme sexual tools usage or sexual abuse such as pricking, burning, piercing, cutting and scraping the genital area are also the form of mutilation. The extreme sexual activities that performed to the genital area usually caused injury, infections, bleeding, burns, inability to urinate and walk and also severe pain. Sex abuse is considered a crime because it is violating women rights and compromising their health. It is also causing trauma to the victim.
Other Related Topic
If there is an intended procedure that cause altering or injury to the female genital organs without any medical reasons, it is called FGM. This is a practice that illegal in several countries such as in the UK.
Different with circumcision for men and women, it is carried out for personal hygiene purposes and health reasons such as:
1) Prevents risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and infections of the reproductive system because the area is easier to clean and maintain the hygiene.
2) Controlling the secretions of the labia minora beneath the prepuce of the vagina and urethra. Therefore unpleasant odor will never develop and it will avoid the possible infections problems.
3) For women, the circumcision helps the clitoris to be sensitive and aroused without increasing the size. It is beneficial during sexual intercourse and it prevents overstimulation that painful to the women.
4) It is a way to control the excessive of men and women libido to avoid sex addiction that leads to problems such as Sexual Transmitted Diseases and rape cases.
In a book that published by the World Health Organization in 1979 that stating about the traditions for health to the women and children, WHO says female circumcision which involves removal of the prepuce of the clitoris is a technique that similar to the male circumcision and its objective. These procedures have no harmful health effects. Plus, it does increase their personal hygiene effectively.
It is illegal to perform FGM to the girls in any ages. In certain countries such as in the UK, it is banned and the person that found guilty can be prison up to 14 years. Tradition that involves FGM that caused health problems also considered as unhealthy and should be stopped. There are still a lot of debate and scrutinized research around the globe to ensure that FGM is controllable and has its own law and regulations. According to WHO, female and male circumcision has no harmful health effects because it is done for personal hygiene purposes. Understanding the definition of FGM is very important to protect women’s rights and events like FGM awareness is very helpful for public education to avoid confusion and to increase personal knowledge.
Pratt Angela is a Trained Dietitian and Human Nutritionist. She an advocate for #healhtyliving and a crusader for Girl Child Empowerment. She is the CEO of Caliph Confections Limited and Co-Founder Baker’s Mall.