Female genital mutilation: the facts
■ Female genital mutilation, also known as cutting, is practised in 28 African countries. The prevalence rate ranges from 98% of girls in Somalia to 5% in Zaire. It also takes place among ethnic groups in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand.
■ Until the 1950s FGM was used in England and the US as a “treatment” for lesbianism, masturbation, hysteria, epilepsy and other “female deviances”.
■ A survey in Kenya found a fourfold drop in FGM rates among girls who had secondary education.
■ Reasons for the practice include conforming to social norms, enhancing sexual pleasure for men and reducing it for women, cleanliness and chastity.
■ No European country accepts the threat of FGM as a reason for asylum.
■ In Sudan, 20%-25% of female infertility has been linked to FGM complications.
■ In Chad, girls have begun to seek FGM without pressure from their immediate family, believing that to be “sewn up” proves they are virginal and clean. The fashion has led to uncircumcised girls being labelled “dirty”.
From “British girls undergo horror of genital mutilation despite tough laws” in The Guardian. Watch the disturbing video.
(This opinion belongs solely to the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Good Sex Network.)