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Female Genital Multilation - Research Paper Example

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Female Genital Mutilation Female Genital Mutilation Introduction The term ‘female genital mutilation’ (FGM), sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision, is a cultural practice in which the external female genitalia are partially or completely removed…
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Download file to see previous pages Although this practice may take place in hospitals, no scientific procedures like anesthesia is used for the genital cutting process. Generally, this cultural practice is performed by a traditional circumciser using equipments like knife, razor, or scissor. According to WHO reports, this cultural practice is widely observed in many African regions and some parts of the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Australasia. WHO reports also estimate that nearly 100-140 million women and girls have become the victims of this practice, and among them, 92 million victims were from Africa (WHO). Undoubtedly, female genital mutilation is a vicious cultural practice that has far reaching social, physical, and ethical consequences. Classification of Female Genital Mutilation The process of female circumcision is classified into three major categories such as Types I, II, and III. A female genital cutting is considered as Type I if the process involves removal of the clitoral hood, or partial or complete removal of the clitoris. The Type II is also known as excision, which represents the process of complete or partial removal of clitoris and inner or outer labia. In contrast to Type I & II, Type III female genital mutilation indicates a process by which all external female genitalia are removed and this process is commonly referred to as infibulation or pharaonic circumcision. In this process, both the inner and outer labia are cut away with or without the removal of clitoris. Once this process is completed, the girl’s legs are tied from hip to ankle for nearly 40 days for healing the wound. The labial tissue is bonded due to the immobility of legs and which in turn leads to the formation of a wall of flesh across the vulva. A twig or rock salt is inserted into the wound in order to create a small hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. Matwasat is another form of Type III where the vulva is stitched and a relatively bigger hole is left. In addition to these, there is a Type IV female circumcision which reflects a variety of procedures collectively. According the WHO, procedures like pricking, piercing, and cauterization performed on female genitalia for non-medical reasons constitute the Type IV. Purpose and Religious Reasons According to FGM supporters, social, economic, and political reasons justify this cultural practice. As Rossem and Gage (2009) point out, people who argue in favor of GFM believe that this process would support the empowerment of girls and provide girls with better marital life. FGM supporters also hold the view that this process would contribute to their families’ prosperity and good name. In some groups like Masai community, FGM is considered to be the reflection of a girl’s growth into womanhood and the beginning of a girl’s sexual debut. Another major intention of this cultural practice is to limit women’s sexual desires and thereby keep them away from premarital sexuality. In many groups, women who are not undergone the FGM procedures are perceived as dirty and hence they are treated very badly. Some superstitions also support the need for female circumcision. As per the ‘Female genital cutting fact sheet’, Some FGM supporters misbelieve that the clitoris will continue to grow as time goes by and hence it should be necessarily removed; and another major misconception is that the external genitalia are unclean ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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