Female genital circumcision, cutting, or female genital mutilation, is the practice of ritualistic cutting to remove all or a portion of a woman’s outer genitalia. There are different types of cutting and different reasons for it, including rite of passage, group identity, and preservation of virginity. The reasons depend on varying cultural, and even tribal factors specific to that ethnic or cultural group.
The circumcision is said to be very painful and often performed without anesthesia or proper medical care. Women who have been cut face increased risk of infection and pain during childbirth or intercourse, and it can even affect the prenatal health of a baby and the delivery process.
The practice (typically performed by elderly women) is taboo in Western culture but supporters view cutting as the masculine counterpart of the male circumcision. People who approve say it is a purifying and sacred initiation practice into womanhood, linking a wife to her husband and his family. Cutting is practiced among various religions and is more common in numerous Northern and Central African countries, as well as parts of the Middle East and Asia. A survey in 2015 from the Population Reference Bureau claims 80 percent of Egyptian female teenagers still conduct female circumcision.
FGC is facing a growing opposition and the members of communities who traditionally practiced cutting are beginning to speak out against it. As older generations who fervently believe in FGC begin aging out, this number may to decrease as younger generations become more independent and less tradition-oriented. Policymakers are taking a stand against the practice as well, as 43 countries have banned cutting.
However, government restrictions do not mean FGC will be stopping anytime soon. Cutting also occurs behind closed doors in the Western world, with more than 500,000 women in the U.S. determined to survivors or at risk every year. In the U.S., California has the highest rate of women at risk of being cut.
The World Health Organization has called for the immediate eradication of FGC urging all citizens of the World to stop this practice.
Originally posted on LinkTV: