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Published On: Wed, Feb 5th, 2014

Tragedy in Africa: More than 3 million girls at risk of female genital mutilation annually

It’s as horrible as it sounds.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the catch-all term for  all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

 

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

This ranges from the partial or total removal of the clitoris, aka Clitoridectomy, to Infibulation, which is a procedure where the  vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal, and everything in between.

These procedures, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says “has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways”,  have been documented in 28 countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia and the Middle East.

The WHO estimates about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM. In Africa alone,  an estimated 101 million girls 10 years old and above have undergone FGM.

The WHO estimates that in Africa, more than three million girls have been estimated to be at risk for FGM annually.

Not only is FGM  recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, constituting an extreme form of discrimination against women, as mentioned above, there are numerous health risks that go along with these barbaric procedures.

Shock, bleeding, exteme pain, risk of infections including HIV (when non-sterile instrumnets are used), psychological effects and death encompasses part of the lenghty list.

Female genital mutilation is said to be based on a mix of cultural and religious practices to include reducing a woman’s libido, a part of raising a girl properly and numerous others.

In 2008, the WHO together with 9 other United Nations partners, issued a new statement on the elimination of FGM to support increased advocacy for the abandonment of FGM. The 2008 statement provides evidence collected over the past decade about the practice. It highlights the increased recognition of the human rights and legal dimensions of the problem and provides data on the frequency and scope of FGM. It also summarizes research about on why FGM continues, how to stop it, and its damaging effects on the health of women, girls and newborn babies.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly accepted a resolution on the elimination of female genital mutilation.

Let’s pray for an end to this brutal and clearly unhealthy practice for the girls and young women in Africa and other countries that practice it.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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