Female Genital Mutilation - Essay Example

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This essay "Female Genital Mutilation Essay" discusses the tradition of female genital mutilation is rather old and practiced in different parts of the world. The origins of this ritual can be traced back to antiquity: the Phoenicians, Hittites, and ancient Egyptians. …
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Female Genital Mutilation Essay
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Download file to see previous pages Proponents of female circumcision emphasize social and cultural considerations of this practice (Shweder, 2002). However, the truth is that even though men believe this surgery keeps a woman’s virginity, FGM should be banned in all countries because it’s causing serious reproductive problems and other health complications in women.
Although the practice of female circumcision remains unchanged for many centuries, debates about this ritual are relatively recent. Until the second half of the last century, the issue of FGM was barely known in the West, while in Africa it was rarely spoken about. Only about 50 years ago some European and American medical practitioners who worked in Africa together with African activists expressed concern about FGM and informed the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international organizations about the health risks associated with it.
However, it was not until 1979 that the international community finally reacted to the problem of female circumcision: the only reasonable explanation for such delay was that the practice of female circumcision seemed so alien and strange to the Western countries that they did not even know how to react. Therefore, only in 1979 participants of a seminar organized by WHO in Khartoum and dedicated precisely to the issue of female circumcision and its implications for health issued a Statement recommending that governments of those African countries which practice female circumcision make efforts to eliminate the ritual.

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Although the practice of female circumcision remains unchanged for many centuries, debates about this ritual is relatively recent. Until the second half of the last century, the issue of FGM was barely known in the West, while in Africa it was rarely spoken about. Only about 50 years ago some European and American medical practitioners whom worked in Africa together with African activists expressed concern about FGM, and informed the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international organizations about the health risks associated with it (Platt, 2000).
However, it was not until 1979 that the international community finally reacted to the problem of female circumcision: the only reasonable explanation for such delay was that the practice of female circumcision seemed so alien and strange to the Western countries that they did not even know how to react. Therefore, only in 1979 participants of a seminar organized by WHO in Khartoum and dedicated precisely to the issue of female circumcision and its implications for health issued a Statement recommending that governments of those African countries which practice female circumcision make efforts to eliminate the ritual (WHO, 1979).
Nowadays, female circumcision is practiced in at least 28 countries located on African continent, namely in its northern part, although the prevalence rates across these countries range from 5% to 99%. Countries of Southern Africa and Arabic-speaking nations of the Northern Africa do not practice this ritual (Toubia, 1994). According to the most recent estimation, at least 100 million females are circumcised (Platt, 2000). Muslims, Animists, one Jewish sect, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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