Updated: Jan 26, 2019
Female Genital Mutilation (often referred to as FGM) is a destructive operation, during which the female genitals are partly or entirely removed or injured with the aim of inhibiting a woman’s sexual feelings. Most often the mutilation is performed before puberty, often on girls between the age of four and eight, but recently it is increasingly performed on babies who are only a couple of days, weeks or months old.
The CDC report estimated 513,000 girls and women in the United States were either victims of FGM or at risk of FGM, with ⅓ under age 18.
The fact that this barbaric crime against women is not openly discussed in the United States does not mean it does not still happen or exist here. Our goal is to make sure victims are cared for, protected and that their families are educated, counseled and encouraged to stop such deadly acts.
In the above video you watch the stories of women who were affected by this crime mostly by parents who did not know any better. Lack of education on matters like this is the big issue and mainstream media tries to shy away from these harsh realities. Women do not talk about Vaginas openly, even medical experts are afraid to use the word and this led us to realize that someone needs to make this change and fast. Mothers that allow this to be performed on their baby girls think they are protecting their children's best interest not realizing that they are causing permanent harm and damage. This severe and barbaric procedure has been carried out on millions of women and still is till date causing physical and emotional damage to women and ultimately death.
WHO PERFORMS FGM? FGM is usually performed by professional circumcisers; women who have a high reputation within their societies. It is also performed by traditional midwives and occasionally by healers, nurses or doctors trained in Western medicine. The procedure is usually performed without anaesthetic and under dreadful and unhygienic circumstances.
HOW IS IT DONE? 1. The clitoris and the labia are cut without anaesthetic. A variety of sharp objects are used, such as knives, scissors and razors - usually not disinfected. 2. Afterwards, the labia stumps are sewn together. 3. A hole remains the size of a match head for urination resulting in lifelong mental and physical pain.
TYPES - The World Health Organization (WHO) differentiates between four different types of Female Genital Mutilation:
Type 1: Excision of the clitoris prepuce (“Sunna-circumcision”) and of the clitoris or parts thereof. Clitoridectomy - Partial or total removal of the clitoris or the fold of skin surrounding it.
Type 2: Excision of the clitoris prepuce, the clitoris and the inner lips or parts thereof
Type 3: Excision - Excision of part of or all of the external genitals (“infibulation”, also referred to as “Pharaonic Circumcision”). Afterwards the remaining parts of the outer lips are sewn together leaving a small hole for urine and menstrual flow. It is the narrowing of the vagina opening by sewing together folds of skin.
Type 4: Any other procedure, which injures or circumcises the female genitalia. Pricking, piercing, cutting or stretching of the clitoris or the labia, also burning or scarring the genitals as well as ripping of the vaginal opening or the introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina in order to tighten it.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FGM? Female genital mutilation has serious health (physical and mental!) effects which often occur immediately after the procedure and may cause severe bleeding , infections, tetanus, paralysis of the bladder or blood poisoning, and can even result in death. HIV / AIDS can also be transmitted via the use of dirty instruments.
In addition to the psychological trauma and the loss of sexual sensation, the victims often complain of long-term pain when urinating and during menstruation. Sitting or even walking can bruise and even re-open the scar tissue due to the constant rubbing of clothing. Cysts, abscesses, bladder infections and incontinence may occur. Infertility is one of the possible long-term consequences. Sexual intercourse is often painful.
Giving birth to a child can increase bleeding and tissue cracks. The birth may take longer than usual and caesarean sections are common.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY BEING DONE Federal law 18 U.S. Code § 116 ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ makes it illegal to perform FGM in the U.S. and was amended in 2013 to make it illegal to knowingly transport a girl out of the U.S. for the purpose of FGM.
Additionally, 27 states have laws against FGM.
Yet most recently, news articles have highlighted cases of girls born in the U.S. being subjected to FGM either while on vacation in their parents’ countries of origin, referred to as “vacation cutting.” Additionally, recent cases indicate that U.S.-licensed doctors may be performing FGM on girls in the U.S.