Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Scandal of Fgm; How 200 Million Girls and Women around the World Have Been Forced to Undergo Female Genital Mutilation

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Scandal of Fgm; How 200 Million Girls and Women around the World Have Been Forced to Undergo Female Genital Mutilation

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE CACHIA

TODAY is International Women's Day - a global celebration of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

But figures from UNICEF show how women and girls remain marginalised, oppressed, and violated in certain countries.

It is seen in some girls The charity has revealed that female genital mutilation (FGM) is continuing to take place at an alarming rate in parts of the world, with 60 million girls at risk of genital violation across developing countries.

Female genital mutilation includes all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external genitalia for non-medical reasons.

While it has been illegal to carry out FGM in the UK since 1985, it is seen as a societal expectation in some other countries.

UNICEF estimates that at as unacceptable countries for not to have undergone FGM least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries have been subjected to the violence, although the exact number is unknown.

More than three quarters (76 per cent) of girls under the age of 14 have been subjected to FGM in Mali, as have 45 per cent in Gambia and 53 per cent in Mauritania.

Meanwhile, more than 90 per cent of females aged between 15 and 49 in Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti, and Sierra Leone have had their genitals mutilated.

According to the World Health Organisation, cutting the nerve ends and sensitive genital tissue causes extreme pain to victims.

Proper anaesthesia is rarely used and if it is, it is usually not fully effective.

Infections and excessive bleeding are common consequences of FGM - both of which can lead to death.

In their report, UNICEF warned that current progress is insufficient to keep up with increasing population growth.

If trends continue, they predict that the number of girls and women undergoing FGM will rise significantly over the next 15 years. …

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