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Female Genital Multilation - Essay Example

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The second type is the excision which is the “partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina)” (WHO, 2012, par 5). The third type is the infibulations which is “the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris” (WHO, 2012, par 5). The fourth type includes “all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area” (WHO, 2012, par 5). The origin of FGM is not very clear but it is believed that it dates back from the 5th century B.C. in Egypt. Although most victims of FGM come from Africa, historically it also occurred in other countries including the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, Australia, France, England and the United States (Estabrooks, n.d.). According to a report by WHO, FGM is practiced by followers of different religions such as Muslims, Christians and Animists and other non-believers (World Health Organization, 2001). Various reasons have been cited for the practice of FGM. Socio-cultural reason is one of the major reasons why FGM is performed among girls. FGM is a source of income for the traditional excisor who is a well-respected member of the community. It is for this reason that she wants to keep the tradition alive (WHO, 2012). Other

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cultures consider FGM as an assurance that a girl will retain her virginity prior to marriage. Some communities view FGM as “a rite of passage into womanhood” (WHO, 2001, p.23). Another reason cited by WHO why FGM is practiced in some societies is because of hygienic and aesthetic reasons (WHO, 2001). Some cultures believe that removal of the body parts believed to be unclean such as the clitoris, makes a girl clean and beautiful (WHO, 2012). Spiritual and religious reasons are also mentioned as justifications for FGM. In some communities, the removal of the external genitalia of a woman makes her spiritually clean (WHO, 2012). Other societies practice FGM for psycho-sexual purposes (WHO, 2012). It is deemed to enhance further the sexual pleasure of the males. Furthermore, other cultures considers FGM as a way of controlling the supposedly overactive sexual desires of the female. There are no health benefits to women who undergo FGM. On the contrary, there are several short-term and long-term health problems associated with FGM (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, 2009). In the short-term, FGM may cause severe bleeding or hemorrhaging, which may even lead to death of the girl. Another short-term effect is the risk of infection of the wound which may develop into an abscess. Fever, sepsis or shock may occur, which may lead to the death of the woman if left untreated. Pain is another problem which the woman may experience during the procedure because of the absence of anesthesia. After the procedure, the woman will also suffer from pain when urinating. FGM is traumatic for the woman both physically and psychologically. Aside from the

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Female Genital Mutilation Date Female Genital Mutilation Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as “female circumcision” is a procedure that involves “partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (World Health Organization (WHO), 2012, par 2)…
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