Development Goals published by the United Nations in 2015 calls for an end to
female genital mutilation by the year 2030.
‘The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations initiative to end the brutal practice that discriminates against girls and women.’
Females have been the
oppressed sex since historical times. A brutal form of the oppression is
mutilation of the female genital parts that may include cutting or the
clitoris, the lips of the vagina (labia majora / labia minora), narrowing the
vagina or pricking or piercing the female genitalia.
practice of female genital mutilation is not only demeaning to the female sex
and an infringement to human rights, but is also often horribly painful, can
cause health problems including bleeding, infection, infertility,
mental consequences, and puts the life of an innocent at risk
following the procedure does not generate any pleasure and is often associated
with pain. Thus, one of the justifications often given for the procedure is
that it will force girls and young women to remain virgins before their
marriage, and improve their chances of finding a groom.
The practice is
particularly followed in African countries of Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti, Gambia
and Mauritania, and the Middle East, though it is widespread throughout the
world including in Asia and the western countries in girls of all age groups,
United Nations has called to put an end to the inhuman practice and provide
care for its consequences through the establishment of the Joint Programme on
Female Genital Mutation / Cutting in 2008.
however, cannot become a success until all stakeholders in the community take a
joint decision to eliminate the practice.
Steps that can encourage
the abandonment of the practice include the following:
awareness about the false notions around the practice, and health and
other consequences on the girl or woman in a well-coordinated manner. This
process should involve governments, elders and respected individuals of
the community, among others. Religious leaders can play an important role
by informing people that the practice is not endorsed by any religious
text. While young girls may not have much of a choice, awareness among
women can play an important role in the elimination of the practice. A
change in male perception towards the practice can speed up the process of
eliminating it. If men from the communities that follow the practice
express their willingness to marry women who have not undergone the
procedure, many families will abandon it.
- Mere awareness
however will not solve the issue. The communities should also be empowered
to take steps against those who continue with the inhuman practice. Health
care professionals who perform the procedure should be sensitized against
it, by the rule of law if necessary. It is unfortunate that doctors, even
in developed countries, are sometimes involved in doing the procedure,
though there is no medical basis for it!
- Girls and women
who have already undergone such procedures should receive medical help for
corrective surgery and should be rehabilitated so that they can resume
normal lives and find their place in society. Health care professionals
should be trained to treat the patients with simple plastic surgery procedures.
On the 6th
February, 2018, let us all pledge our support to this United Nations initiative
to restore the rights of several women forced to undergo the brutal practice.
- International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February - (http://www.un.org/en/events/femalegenitalmutilationday/index.shtml)
- Female genital mutilation - (http://www.unfpa.org/female-genital-mutilation)