Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the term used for removal of all or just part of the
female genitalia. The age the procedure is carried out varies from just after birth to
some time during the first pregnancy, but mostly occurs between the ages of four to eight.
This barbaric practice is carried out by the use of various sharp objects. Once the
genital area for removal is gone, the child is stitched up and her legs are bound for up
to 40 days. The practice is traditionally performed by women with no formal training,
using primitive instruments, such as razor blades or pieces of glass.
The exact origin of FMG is unknown. but it is practiced mainly in Asia, Africa and the
The WHO estimates that 130 million women, world-wide have undergone some form of
Female Genital Mutilation, with an annual incidence of 2 million.
Reasons for FGM, range from Tradition (normal part of a women's life), transition from
childhood to womanhood, beauty, preservation of virginity, protection from rape,
fidelity during marriage, (to protect lineage)
FGM is not included within the formal teachings of any religion, contrary to what many
The result of FGM on women, include, physical, sexual and psychosocial problems.
Death can also be a result. of FGM.
The UN health agencies have worked for years on FGM as a health hazard to women and girls,
and it is at last being recognised as a Human Violation, and a form of violence against
Resistance is an ongoing process and hopefully will prove successful.