Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is
defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “all procedures that involve
partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to
the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.
The World Health Organisation (WHO)
classifies FGM into 4 types. WHO classifies FGM into four categories with
FGM Type I: partial or total removal
of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). The 2 subdivisions are,
FGM Type Ia: removal of the prepuce/clitoral hood (circumcision) and FGM Type
Ib: removal of the clitoris with the prepuce
FGM Type II: Partial or total removal
of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia
The 3 subdivisions are of FGM Type II
are; FGM Type IIa: removal of the labia minora only; FGM Type IIb: partial or
total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora; and
FGM Type IIc: partial or total removal of the clitoris, the labia minora and
the labia majora
FGM Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal
orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the
labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris
The 2 subdivisions are, FGM
Type IIIa: removal and a positioning the labia minora with or without excision
of the clitoris; and FGM Type IIIb: removal and a positioning the labia majora
with or without excision of the clitoris
Type 4 Unclassified; refers to all
other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, including
cauterization, pulling, incision, piercing, pricking, and scrapping for
It is estimated that over 200 million
girls and women worldwide are living with or at risk of suffering the
associated negative health consequences of FGM
Every year 3 million girls and women
are at risk of FGM and are therefore exposed to the potential negative health
consequences of this harmful practice.
FGM has no known health benefits, and
those girls and women who have undergone the procedure are at great risk of
suffering from its complications throughout their lives.
The procedure of FGM is painful and
traumatic, and is often performed under unsterile conditions by a traditional
practitioner who has little knowledge of female anatomy or how to manage
possible adverse events.
Moreover, the removal of or damage to
healthy genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and
may cause severe immediate and long-term negative health consequences.
The practice of FGM is prevalent in 30
countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia and the Middle East, but
also present across the globe due to international migration
FGM practice is deeply rooted in a
strong cultural and social framework. It is endorsed by the practicing
community and is supported by loving parents who believe that undergoing FGM is
in the best interest of their daughter.
The beliefs sustaining the practice of
FGM vary greatly from one community to another, although there are many common
themes. However, the primary reason is that it is part of the history and
cultural tradition of the community.
Despite its cultural importance, we
need to acknowledge the fact that FGM is a harmful traditional practice that
violates the rights of girls and women.
Therefore, FGM has to be eliminated.
The practice is mostly carried out by
traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities,
such as attending childbirths.
FGM is recognized internationally as a
violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted
inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination
The practice also violates a person’s
rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from
torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It is also a violation of
the right to life when the procedure results in death.
For more information about FGM you can visit http://www.who.int or watch
Genital Mutilation is harmful to women. To cut off the sensitive sexual organ
of a girl is to prevents it from performing its functions, a distortion to her
womanhood, and an abuse of her fundamental human right
best way to make a girl to abstain from pre-marital sex is not by cutting her
genital, but by educating and mentoring her. Together we can build a nation
where there is zero tolerance to female genital mutilation
are well created, and it is unnecessary and irrelevant to cut any part of their
bodies. Even if you or any of your family members may not have experienced FGM,
you need to speak out against it to discourage others from the practice
introduced earlier FGM is an act of violence against girls and women, according
to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) which was signed
into law in May 2015.The practice of FGM is an offense punishable by law,
the VAPP Act protects persons from harmful traditional practices which puts
their lives at risk.
genital mutilation is an infringement of the rights of women to health, because
of the numerous negative results the practice has on the life of survivors.
of the practice of #FGM have recorded and reported more negative results, while
some victims suffer severe bleeding and eventual death, survivors live with
both long- and short-term effects.
young girls and women in communities where it is practiced live in fear of the
exercise and struggle with ways to avoid the practice for fear of the negative
effects on the life of victims, FGM hence infringes their rights to security.
girls and women don’t feel safe in their host communities, their actions,
relationships and activities in these communities become somewhat
restricted.Female genital mutilation thereby infringes on the rights to
security of girls and women.
communities and societies where #FGM is practiced the beliefs and reasons for
the practice differs, but overall there are general beliefs in host communities
that women are not whole until they are cut. The practice is mostly introduced
as some form of cleansing act from sexual promiscuity or an
introduction/initiation into ‘womanhood’, in these communities uncut women are
mostly perceived as incomplete.
practice of #FGM infringes on the right to physical integrity in communities,
because uncut women and girls are perceived and treated as not being physically
whole and worthy.
on the information or belief that the practice of FGM is what qualifies women
and girls to be accepted as worthy and completely takes away the physical
integrity of uncut women and girls in such communities, this is the backbone of
FGM in most places where it is practiced.
practice of #FGM also encroaches on the social rights of girls and women, in
host communities where it is practiced uncut women are perceived as incomplete
girls or women…And as a result they are sometimes treated as belonging to a
lower social class or standard than other women who have been cut.
some societies, girls and women who refuse to undergo the practice are
stigmatized and treated as being unclean or sexually uncontrollable.
alters the rights of girls and women in more ways than one, and has an overall
higher negative effect, and no positive results has resulted from years of the
has no positive effects, and when the reasons for it’s existence are weighed
against the effects, the reality is that uncut women have safer births and
better sexual health and experience.
practice is then seen for what it really is. An act designed to control the
sexual and reproductive life of women and girls.The VAPP act ensures the
protection of the life of girls and women against FGM. #16DaysActivism
of the act are termed as violators, and survivors are referred to as victims.
Although there are certain factors hindering the implementation of the VAPP act
in Nigeria causing a drawback on the eventual abandonment of the practice, it
doesn’t change the fact that FGM is indeed an act of violence against girls and