International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation


by Rumbold
6th February, 2011 at 8:29 pm    

Today is the International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a cultural practice which sees (usually) young girls being sexually mutilated in order to comply with tradition. FGM is a worldwide practice, albeit one largely concentrated in the Middle East and Africa. It spans religions, with both Christians and Muslim girls suffering as a result of it, and has been widely condemned by leading religious scholars, though other influential ones (including a cleric feted by the then mayor of London Ken Livingstone), continue to endorse it.

FGM even occurs in Britain: investigations by the Daily Mail and Observer (amongst others) revealed that tens of thousands of girls living in this country have either undergone the procedure or at risk from it, mostly those from African/Middle Eastern backgrounds. There is legislation to deal with it in this country, but, given the difficulties of securing a conviction, it has so far proved ineffective, wih no prosecutions taking place. In other areas of the world the signs are more encouraging though:

There is a programme now running in 12 out of 17 priority African countries and it has seen real results. We have seen prevalence rates fall from 80% to 74% in Ethiopia, in Kenya from 32% to 27% and in Egypt from 97% to 91%. But there is still a long way to go.

The success behind the recent figures lies in the collective abandonment of FGM/C. There is now a culturally sensitive approach, based on dialogue and social networking, which leads to abandonment within one generation. Because the programme is anchored in human rights, it allows participants to understand better the choices they are making.


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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence






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  1. Jenny — on 6th February, 2011 at 9:39 pm  
  2. douglas clark — on 6th February, 2011 at 11:37 pm  

    Thanks for reminding us of this. It seems it is forgotten, or ignored. Or allowed as ‘cultural’.

    I am not a happy bunny.

  3. double standards — on 7th February, 2011 at 12:49 am  

    Why is female genital mutilation rightly banned by not male?

  4. douglas clark — on 7th February, 2011 at 7:29 am  

    double standards,

    Point.

  5. Don — on 7th February, 2011 at 8:26 am  

    Because it isn’t remotely as damaging? Male circumcision is a pointless distraction when discussing FGM.

  6. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2011 at 8:36 am  

    Double standards:

    Why is female genital mutilation rightly banned by not male?

    There is a difference- one is done in part for health reasons, as has no negative impact on an individual’s health or sexual pleasure. The other does (though I am not a massive fan of either).

  7. cjcjc — on 7th February, 2011 at 10:09 am  

    “Or allowed as ‘cultural’.”

    Glad we agree that “multiculturalism” is not a great idea.

  8. KJB — on 7th February, 2011 at 1:24 pm  

    Second Don.

  9. douglas clark — on 7th February, 2011 at 2:28 pm  

    I agree with Rumbold @ 6. Though the whole idea of sexual mutilation is just wrong…….

  10. Don — on 7th February, 2011 at 3:00 pm  

    Odd, isn’t it, that people can believe that the god they worship is perfect and incapable of error but, damn, he just can’t get the hang of genitals? Pass the sharp stone, we’re going to have to fix another one.

  11. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2011 at 3:04 pm  

    Haha.

  12. Mark — on 7th February, 2011 at 8:44 pm  

    Reply to:

    Don — on 7th February, 2011 at 8:26 am
    Because it isn’t remotely as damaging? Male circumcision is a pointless distraction when discussing FGM.

    *** Pointless distraction? You should be ashamed of yourself! Genital Mutilation is a barbaric practice that affects both of genders. It’s not a competition to declare which form of GM is worse, we are talking about overall Human Rights here. While FGM seems more destructive physically, MGM could be seen just as destructive since it is more common (circumcision) and rarely gets addressed.

    The excuse that circumcision promotes penile hygene or STDs is inexcusable (unless medically needed) it’s 2011! Try giving lessons on how to use soap and water rather than cutting off your childs foreskin to save the trouble.

  13. Don — on 7th February, 2011 at 9:02 pm  

    You should be ashamed of yourself!

    I don’t think so.

    It’s not a competition to declare which form of GM is worse No, because that is already established. Your dick is not an issue here. This is a very different debate, the cutting is often fatal and is about a bizarre male sexual preference.

    I am no fan of male circumcision, but that is a different issue. FGM is of a different order. Can you see that?

  14. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2011 at 9:26 pm  

    Excellent reply Don.

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