It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "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."2] FGM is practised as a cultural ritual by ethnic groups in 27 countries in sub-Saharan and Northeast Africa, and to a lesser extent in Asia, the Middle East and within immigrant communities elsewhere.8] It is typically carried out, with or without anaesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife or razor.9] The age of the girls varies from weeks after birth to puberty; in half the countries for which figures were available in 2013, most girls were cut before the age of five.5]
The practice involves one or more of several procedures, which vary according to the ethnic group. They include removal of all or part of the clitoris and clitoral hood; all or part of the clitoris and inner labia; and in its most severe form (infibulation) all or part of the inner and outer labia and the fusion of the wound. In this last procedure, which the WHO calls Type III FGM, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual blood, and the wound is opened up for intercourse and childbirth.10] The health effects depend on the procedure but can include recurrent infections, chronic pain, cysts, infertility, complications during childbirth and fatal bleeding.11]