Millions of little girls and young women have been subjected to a dreadful rite of passage that involves cutting their genitals, that too without anaesthesia, for centuries in parts of Asia and the middle-east!
Few cultures and religions believe that “the female genital mutilation preserves a girl’s chastity, making her a more desirable marriage partner, and improving hygiene and fertility.
But, there is nothing as such!
According to the World Health Organization, for most of the girls, it brings only pain, cysts, scars, infections and problems with urination and childbirth. Also, it leads to a higher risk of infant death and psychological trauma.
It says that “more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. And, the procedure is most commonly performed on girls who range in age from infancy to 15.
According to Detroit, “The practice can take many forms, and may involve removing only a portion of the external genitalia, such as the clitoris and labia minora, or it can involve the removal of most of the external genitalia and a narrowing of the vaginal opening or other harmful procedures such as scraping, pricking, piercing or cauterizing the genitals.”
UNICEF REPORT CONFIRMED THE BARBARIC PROCEDURE!!
According to UNICEF report, at least 200 million of women and girls in 30 countries now live with female genital mutilation.
Although female genital mutilation is carried out in many countries, reports say that more than half of those who have undergone it, live in just three countries – Indonesia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
In most countries, the majority of girls subjected to the practice are younger than 5 years!!! About one fourth of all cases worldwide were girls under the age of 14.
Reports show the highest rates of mutilation among women between the ages of 15 to 49 are in Somalia, Guinea, and Djibouti.
Even though the practice is illegal in many countries, many communities consider the practice part of their many traditions and cultural beliefs.
Four types of Female Genital Mutilation are classified!
The first part is often referred to as Clitoridectomy, which includes the partial or total removal of the clitoris.
The second type is often referred as excision, which is the partial or total removal of the clitoris along with the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva).
The third type is “Infibulation”, which is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of covering seal.
And, the fourth one is Deinfibulation, which includes all the harmful procedures to the female genitalia for the non-medical purpose like pricking, piercing, incising and cauterizing the genital area.
The report says that out of 10 mutilations, 4 girls will die!!
Many campaigns have taken place to ban this barbaric ritual, but the tragedy is, however, remains that female genital mutilation is still practiced at a rate of one girl every 11 seconds around the world in 29 countries.