Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)


Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital removing and female circumcision, is the ritual of cutting or removal of some or all of the exterior female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and inside communities from countries in which FGM is common. Typically carried out by a traditional circumciser using a blade, FGM is generally conducted from days after birth to puberty and beyond. In half the country’s most of the girls are cut before the age of five.The process of removing female genitalia differ according to the country or ethnic group. They include removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glansremoval of the inner labiaand removal of the inner and outer labia and closure of the vulva. The last process is known as infibulation, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid the vagina is opened for intercourse and opened further for childbirth. The procedures are generally performed by a traditional cutter in the girls’ homes, with or without anesthesia. The cutter is usually an older woman, but in communities where the male barber has assumed the role of health worker he will perform FGM. When traditional cutters are involvednon-sterile devices are likely to be used, including knives, razors, scissors, glass, sharpened rocks and fingernails.

FGM harms women’s physical and emotional health throughout their lives. It has no known health benefits. The short-term and late complications depend on the type of FGM, whether the practitioner has had medical training, and whether they used antibiotics and sterilized or single-use surgical instruments. Other factors include how small a hole was left for the passage of urine and menstrual blood, whether surgical thread was used instead of acacia thorns, and whether the procedure was performed more than once Common short-term complications include swelling, excessive bleeding, pain, urine retention, and healing problems as well as wound infection.

Other short-term complications include fatal bleeding, anemia, urinary infection, tetanus, gangreneandendometritis. It is not known how many girls and women die as a result of the practice, because complications may not be recognized or reported. The practitioners’ use of shared instruments is thought to aid the transmission of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Female genital removal is a practice which generally takes place in rural India and generally this practice is taken up by the females of the Bohra community. It is a very harmful practice done and should be banned in the Indian states.

In my views it is a very cruel practice which is done by females over females. As if it is a society where women don’t count as human beings. People are afraid of female sexuality and are planning to control it by doing this cruel practice.  The communities practicing this should be strictly punished as it is a violation, hence no other person has the right to have control over someone else’s body and its functions.

By: Swati Rai, Amity Law School Noida.