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28.11.2019 Opinion

Talking Female Genital Mutilation

By Akua Kharis
Talking Female Genital Mutilation
NOV 28, 2019 OPINION

Female Genital Mutilation refers to the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia. It is typically done between infancy and the age of 15, but adult women may also undergo the procedure.

The term female genital mutilation (FGM) includes any injury to a woman or girl's genitalia for reasons other than medical ones, commonly religious.

The practice is thought to have started before the advent of either Christianity or Islam.

FGM is sometimes called female circumcision, but the implications of female circumcision are quite different from those of male circumcision.

Nowadays, more FGM operations are carried out by healthcare professionals, including up to 77 percent of cases in Egypt.

However, 4 in 5 operations worldwide are still performed by a traditional practitioner, often in unsanitary conditions, with serious health implications.

FGM is most common in the north-eastern, western, and eastern regions of Africa, and some parts of the Middle East and Asia. More than 200 million girls and women alive today are estimated to have experienced FGM in the 30 countries where it is most common.

The practice is carried out for social, religious, and cultural reasons.

There are varying types of FGM, ranging in severity.

It is considered a human rights issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes four main types of female genital mutilation

Type 1: Clitoridectomy

The practice mostly affects women in East and North African countries.

In this practice, the clitoris is partially or completely removed.

The clitoris is the most sensitive erogenous zone of a woman and the main cause of her sexual pleasure.

It is a small erectile part of the female genitalia. Upon being stimulated, the clitoris produces sexual excitement, clitoral erection, and orgasm.


The clitoris and labia minora are partially or completely removed. It may also include the removal of the labia majora. The labia are the lips that surround the vagina.


The vaginal opening is narrowed, and a covering seal is created.

The inner or outer labia are cut and repositioned. This practice may or may not include the removal of the clitoris. Other procedures include cauterizing, scraping, incising, pricking, or piercing the genital area, for reasons other than medical purposes.

According to data, it affects a population of approximately 125 million women and girls worldwide, and 30 million girls less than 14 years of age are at risk every year.

Furthermore, sources point to the fact that between two and three million women and girls being denied their rights as a result of this practice every year, which translates to 8219 women and girls becoming victims of FGM every day.

FGM is performed mainly in 29 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and certain ethnic groups in South America, however, current globalisation and migratory phenomena mean that cases are being seen throughout the entire industrialized world.

It should be highlighted that health-care services are in the best position to detect, diagnose and prevent FGM due to their close contact with families and ongoing care of young girls over their developing stages

Furthermore, nursing and more precisely obstetrics and gynecological professionals, being health-care occupations based on respect for human rights, should play an active part in research and preventative efforts against harmful practices imposed on women ׳s health.

Maybe one might find much interest in these barbaric acts all in the name of tradition or culture but wait till i tell you about the health implications.

Now let's look the health implications

The WHO describes this type as "all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes" and includes practices including pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, and cauterizing the genital area.

Removing normal, healthy genital tissue does not provide any health benefits, and undermines a woman's natural functions. It can also lead to complications. The exact number of fatalities due to FGM is not known, but in parts of Somalia where there are no antibiotics, it has been suggested that 1 in 3 girls who undergo the operation die because of the practice.

Complications that can occur during or soon after FGM procedures include:


Bacterial infection

Open sores in the genital area

Urine retention and other urinary problems

Damage to nearby genital tissue.

Severe pain, possibly leading to a loss of consciousness

Common long-term complications include:

Eecurrent bladder infections



Increased risk of newborn Deaths

Higher rate of childbirth complications

There may also be a need for further surgery.

If the opening has been narrowed, it will need to be reopened before marriage to enable sexual intercourse and childbirth. In some cultures, this opening and narrowing is done several times throughout a female's life.

These are not modest and a great insult to feminine hence i stand that we discard the practice of this barbaric act.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."