As advocacy and awareness on FGM takes place today (February 6), individuals both micro and macro level should utilize this day and sensitize the public on the dangers of FGM and why the need to put an end to it. GYLGF advocates reaching out to young girls who will mothers of tomorrow with information and education so as to block the circle. Angela Ikekhuamen and Adepeju Oti
The International day for the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation
The International day for the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation comes up on February 6. Global Youth Leadership & Girl-child Foundation is passionate about this culturally entrenched phenomenon.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the action of cutting off the clitoris. Although, fgm has different kinds with varying decrees of severity. It could involve removing part of the entire clitoris which is a female pleasure organ. FGM can also include removal of the labia minora which are the inner lips surrounding the vagina, and narrowing of the opening using parts of the inner or outer lips (also known as the labia majora). Other forms of fgm include practices where the female genitals are actually cauterised and scraped as well as pricked and pierced.
Female genital mutilation (fgm) occurs in girls as early as infant hood and up to age 15. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 29 countries in Africa and middle east where fgm is concentrated and more than 3 million women and children are at risk of being victimized yearly. It is vital to know that fgm is a community’s problem and not just a woman’s problem only. It is widely practiced across various parts in the world. There are 150,000 to 200,000 girls in the united states that are at risk of being subjected to the procedure.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is culturally inclined and thrives on pressure from the community and a sense of ill intended tradition, causing women to be more concerned with being accepted by the community rather than finding solutions and protecting the health and well being of their daughters. Irrespective of the cultural factor which is responsible for fgm, religious and social factors within families and communities are not left out.
It should be noted that (FGM) has no health benefits but only harms. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissues and interferes with the natural functions of girls and women’s bodies. Some of the consequences of fgm are recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections, cyst, infertility, increased risks of child birth complications and new born deaths, severe pain during intercourse which may consist of physical discomfort and psychological traumatization.
There has being efforts by world health organisation (who) to eliminate FGM such as increasing advocacy, developing publications and advocacy tools for international , regional and local efforts in order to end FGM within a generation.
Unicef; female genital mutilation/cutting : a statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change. 2013
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