5 Reasons Why Female Circumcision Needs To Stop
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There can be little doubt that female circumcision is one of the most shocking cultural practices found around the world. It contravenes women’s rights in a violent and obvious manner and is a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of millions of girls around the world.
It’s estimated that nearly 125 million girls and women have been subjected to this violation, and each year a further 3 million are at risk in Africa alone. Most people understand that female circumcision needs to stop, but often they struggle to explain why. Here a five reasons why female circumcision needs to stop.
1. It Causes Physical Damage. Female circumcision is almost never performed by people with any medical training. As a result the procedure causes numerous physical problems aside from the damage to the external genitalia. Victims of female circumcision suffer from greater levels of uterine and pelvic infections, scarring, pain during menstruation and sex, increased risks of bladder infections and many other physical problems.
2. It Leads To Psychological Trauma. As is to be expected, female circumcision gives rise to often severe psychological trauma. Women who have been subjected to it suffer from post-traumatic stress, anxiety disorders and depression.
3. Female Circumcision Reinforces Gender Inequality. In the cultures that practise female circumcision women have minimal rights and are often viewed as the property of their families and then later their husbands. The act of circumcision, as a violent assault carried out without informed consent, is a way to entrench this power imbalance. It is linked to girls dropping out of school early, child marriage and child pregnancy. All of these have a huge impact on a girl’s life opportunities.
4. It Has No Health Benefits. Despite the insistence of people within the cultures that carry out female circumcision, the procedure has absolutely no health benefits. It is often believed that a girl who has undergone circumcision is cleaner and more fertile, but this is known to be false. Female circumcision increases vaginal and uterine infections and also increases the risk of infertility.
5. It Is A Violation Of Human Rights. Female circumcision is a violation of the rights of girls and women. The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution banning it because the practice is harmful and a serious threat to women. Because it is often carried out without consent, and forcibly against a girl’s will, it also contravenes treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Female circumcision is a problem with complex and often deeply rooted causes, but it needs to be tackled. The pain and suffering it causes cannot be allowed to continue. You can help by lending your support to the campaign to end its practice within a generation.
Please click here to find out more www.plan-uk.org/because-i-am-a-girl/about-because-i-am-a-girl/violence-against-girls/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/