An analysis of the origins of female genital mutilation

Antonio Olmos Between million and million women and girls are thought to be living with the consequences of female genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organisation. FGM is defined by the WHO as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons". It is recognised as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. In Decemberthe United Nations general assembly unanimously voted to work for the elimination of FGM throughout the world.

An analysis of the origins of female genital mutilation

Reinfibulation can involve cutting the vagina again to restore the pinhole size of the first infibulation. This might be performed before marriage, and after childbirth, divorce and widowhood. Those men who do manage to penetrate their wives do so often, or perhaps always, with the help of the "little knife".

This creates a tear which they gradually rip more and more until the opening is sufficient to admit the penis. From the age of eight, girls are encouraged to stretch their inner labia using sticks and massage.

An analysis of the origins of female genital mutilation

Girls in Uganda are told they may have difficulty giving birth without stretched labia. In a study by Nigerian physician Mairo Usman Mandara, over 30 percent of women with gishiri cuts were found to have vesicovaginal fistulae holes that allow urine to seep into the vagina.

In the case of Type III, other factors include how small a hole was left for the passage of urine and menstrual blood, whether surgical thread was used instead of agave or acacia thorns, and whether the procedure was performed more than once for example, to close an opening regarded as too wide or re-open one too small.

A systematic review of 56 studies suggested that over one in ten girls and women undergoing any form of FGM, including symbolic nicking of the clitoris Type IVexperience immediate complications, although the risks increased with Type III.

The review also suggested that there was under-reporting. Urine may collect underneath the scar, leaving the area under the skin constantly wet, which can lead to infection and the formation of small stones. The opening is larger in women who are sexually active or have given birth by vaginal delivery, but the urethra opening may still be obstructed by scar tissue.

Vesicovaginal or rectovaginal fistulae can develop holes that allow urine or faeces to seep into the vagina. Complete obstruction of the vagina can result in hematocolpos and hematometra where the vagina and uterus fill with menstrual blood. Third-degree laceration tearsanal-sphincter damage and emergency caesarean section are more common in infibulated women.

The estimate was based on a study conducted on 28, women attending delivery wards at 28 obstetric centres in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan.

Female Genital Cutting: A Persisting Practice

In those settings all types of FGM were found to pose an increased risk of death to the baby: The reasons for this were unclear, but may be connected to genital and urinary tract infections and the presence of scar tissue.

According to the study, FGM was associated with an increased risk to the mother of damage to the perineum and excessive blood lossas well as a need to resuscitate the baby, and stillbirthperhaps because of a long second stage of labour.

Several small studies have concluded that women with FGM suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. One third reported reduced sexual feelings. Was any flesh or something removed from the genital area?

Was your genital area sewn? In Eritrea, for example, a survey in found that all Hedareb girls had been infibulated, compared with two percent of the Tigrinyamost of whom fell into the "cut, no flesh removed" category. Prevalence of female genital mutilation by country Percentage of the 15—49 group who have undergone FGM in 29 countries for which figures were available in [3] FGM is found mostly in what Gerry Mackie called an "intriguingly contiguous" zone in Africa—east to west from Somalia to Senegal, and north to south from Egypt to Tanzania.

Over million women and girls are thought to be living with FGM in those 30 countries. The prevalence rate for the 0—11 group in Indonesia is 49 percent In Somalia and Sudan the situation was reversed: In half the countries for which national figures were available in —, most girls had been cut by age five.

In Kenya, for example, the Kisi cut around age 10 and the Kamba at For example, in the northeastern regions of Ethiopia and Kenya, which share a border with Somalia, the Somali people practise FGM at around the same rate as they do in Somalia.Female circumcision commonly referred to as Female genital mutilation (FGM), is the cutting out of the girls’ genitalia to conform to cultural traditions and religious beliefs.

FGM is classified into three types depending on the extent of damage on the female reproductive organ. female genital organs whether for cultural, religious, For this analysis, we defined “at risk” as potentially having undergone FGM/C in the past or at risk for undergoing FGM/C in the future.

We obtained esti- Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States. Female Genital Mutilation, Female Circumcision, or Female Genital Alteration, is used to represent the practice witho ut suggesting or advancing moral judgment.

See Kristen Bowman, Comment: Bridging the. In Somalia, 98% of young girls suffer female genital mutilation. Photograph: Antonio Olmos Between million and million women and girls are thought to be living with the consequences of. 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 initiativeblog.com: Africa, Asia, Middle East, and within communities from these areas.

How Did Female Genital Mutilation Begin?

An analysis of the origins of female genital mutilation

a widespread assumption places the origins of female genital cutting in pharaonic Egypt. This would be supported by the contemporary term "pharaonic.

Background to FGM :: Female Genital Mutilation