The global health problem in a specific area that I chose to discuss in FGM, or female genital mutilation, in the Sudan. Female genital mutilation includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. According to WHO, as of 2013, FGM is used in around 90% of women in the Sudan. (WHO).Female genital mutilation is performed for a number of factors. It is used to represent fertility in marriage, before being married, and during puberty and/or sexual maturing. Most females go through female genital mutilation in Sudan before the age of 5. (WHO). Socially, it is a norm to be circumsized through female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is considered typically as a right of passage into womanhood in the country of Sudan and other surrounding areas. As far as cultural beliefs go, women who are not cut through FGM are looked down upon. Others in Sudan view these uncut women as inferior and “unclean.” (WHO). Many women go through the process of female genital mutilation more than once in their lives, especially after each child they give birth to.
I found an article from an anthropologist discussing female genital mutilation in sub-saharan African countries to discuss. (http://www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/2010/female-circumcision) Since FGM is such a controversial procedure, this article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this specific medical procedure. Unlike most things I have read by researching female genital mutilation in western African countries, this particular anthropologist does not view it as a negative thing. She believes it is a personal choice and poses no harm in sexual desire or negative effects on the health of a woman. However, when I read the article WHO wrote, it described how female genital mutilation can cause health related issues such as cysts and problems in the urinary tract. Although a definitely painful procedure that has no health benefits, the anthropologist from the article I analyzed is pro-FGM.