Female genital mutilation (FGM) which includes all the procedures that involve partial or complete removal of the outer part of female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
Traditional practitioners mainly carry out the practice of FGM. In some cases, there is solid evidence that states the great involvement of health care providers in performing female genital mutilation due to the belief that the procedure is safe and secure when medicalized. Whereas, World Health Organization (WHO) strictly urges healthcare providers to not to perform FGM.
It’s the Int. Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Over 2⃣0⃣0⃣ MILLION women & girls alive today have suffered FGM. FGM has no health benefits & can cause life-long suffering.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 6, 2022
FGM is referred to as a violation of the human rights of women and girls as well. It reflects deep-rooted inequality among the sexes and also forms up an extreme kind of discrimination against girls and women. It is mainly practised on minors and is a violation of children’s rights as well. The practice of FGM further violates a person’s right to health and security, including the right to be free from torture & cruel and mainly the right to life, in cases when the outcome of the practice results in death.
Moreover, it is also clear that FGM has no benefits to health, but it has high negative impacts on girls and women in several ways. It includes the removal of healthy female genital tissue and interferes with the normal functioning of the women’s body.
Immediate problems due to FGM includes-
- Severe pain
- excessive bleeding
- genital tissue swelling
- infections like tetanus
- high fever
- urinary problems
- injuries or wounds healing problems
- injuries to the nearby genital tissues
FGM is mainly performed on young girls between the age group of pre-adolescence and sometimes on adult women. As per the data scrutinized from over 30 nations, where FGM is practised in the Western, Eastern, and North-Eastern regions of Africa, and some countries in the Middle East as well as in Asia, over 200 million girls and women who are alive today have been linked to the practice with over 3 million girls and women estimated to be at risk of FGM annually.
Meanwhile, WHO is approaching to cut down the practice of FGM, where the organization has suggested some of the measures as follows-
- By empowering the health sector response by creating and implementing several guidelines, tools and policies to ensure that health care experts can assist women and girls who are living with the FGM with the proper medical care and counselling and communication for prevention of the practice.
- By generating evidence by providing primary knowledge about the causes, results and costs of the practice, inclusive of providing knowledge about the reason why healthcare providers do the practice and how to abandon the practice and how to take care of those who have undergone FGM.