Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the physical destruction of female’s genitals are partially or completely removed or injured. Certain people (Africans, Middle Easterners, Asians and European immigrants) believe that if a female’s genitals are mutilated they will not have sexual feelings. Typically, FGM is performed before puberty between infancy and age fifteen. Currently, there are 125 million living women that have been cut. FGM is performed strictly for cultural or familial beliefs. It is a non-medical procedure, and has absolutely no health benefits. The procedure is carried out by traditional circumcisers, and increasingly health care providers. Unfortunately, this procedure can lead to serious problems as the female’s age. They may suffer from severe bleeding, cysts, infertility, complications during childbirth and many more. Female’s that have been mutilated also suffer from a lot of emotional stress. They may feel insecure, be embarrassed to talk about their experience, or afraid a male partner will not be understanding.
Internationally people view FGM as discrimination and violation of the human rights of females. The populations that practice FGM do it for religious, cultural and social reasons. They consider FGM a normal, necessary part of raising a girl. Even people who may not fully support the practice continue to participate in order to conform to social pressures. Others believe that FGM will help women resist sexual acts.
Recently, the world has been making greater efforts to eliminate and outlaw FGM. The World Health Organization and UN General Assembly have both passed resolutions to eliminate FGM. Also, numerous females who have had this procedure are stepping forward, talking about their experience and urging others to stop practicing FGM.
Farnoosh Rezaee Ahan takes an anthropological view of FGM, and the issues surrounding it. She discusses the practice, cultural views and ethical views. She explains how FGM is considered ethically acceptable in the cultures that practice it, but unethical in cultures that do not. She describes how anthropologists are divided on the topic. Some believe that this practice should be abolished and others think that women who want to eliminate FGM are being ethnocentric. Her main message is that we must find a balance between society’s way of life and the protection of individuals.
Ahan, Farnoosh Rezaee. “Theories on Female Genital Mutilation.” Academia.edu. October 1, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2014. http://www.academia.edu/3277459/Theories_on_Female_Genital_Mutilation.
“Female Genital Mutilation.” WHO. February 1, 2014. Accessed August 8, 2014. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/.
“What Is FGM?” Desert Flower Foundation RSS. Accessed August 8, 2014. http://www.desertflowerfoundation.org/en/what-is-fgm/.