What is FGM ?
From: James Logan HS web site, Union City, Calif.
FGM stands for Female Genital Mutilation. It is a ceremonial procedure
that dates back to an estimated 1,400 years ago. During circumcision part
or all of the clitoris is removed.There are many forms of FGM:
Sunna circumcision- tip of clitoris and or its covering (prepuce)
Clitoridectomy -entire clitoris, the prepuce and adjacent labia are
Infibulation- clitoridectomy followed by the sewing up of the vulva.
Why is it practiced?
The justification for FGM is to put an end to sexual arousal in women.
If a woman is mutilated, she is less likely to engage in premarital sex,
or adultery. "The importance given to virginity and an intact hymen in
these societies is the reason why female circumcision still remains a
very widespread practice...by removing parts of a girls' external genital
organs, sexual desire is minimized. This permits a female who has reached
the... age of puberty and adolescence to protect her virginity, and
therefore her honor, with greater ease..."
Where is it practiced?
Because FGM is an ongoing and current human rights violation, and
because of the frequency of each procedure, very few studies have been
done to record the numbers of victims. These are only rough estimates. A
particular source estimates that 90% of the girls in Djibouti , Ethiopia
Eritrea, Sierra, Leone, Somalia, and North Sudan have been mutilated.
This source also estimates that about 50% of girls in Benin, Burkina
Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea
Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo have also been mutilated.
Because Female Genital Mutilation is legal in some places, the performers of this gruesome method can not be punished for their actions. However, there are organizations such as UNICEF and Medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation that are helping to bring forth justice to these helpless women.