Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Tragedy of Female Circumcision (or Female Genital Mutilation)

In more than two dozen African countries women and girls are subjected to a practice commonly called female circumcision, but another term for the procedure--female genital mutilation--is actually a more accurate description.

While male circumcision simply involves cutting off the foreskin, female genital mutilation can consist of the total or partial cutting away of the woman's clitoris, which potentially deprives the woman of sexual pleasure for the rest of her life.

A fact sheet from the World Health Organization describes the problem of female circumcision or female genital mutilation. The practice of this procedure has become more controversial not only in Africa but in countries such as England and the United States that have African immigrants who may try to practice this custom in their new countries. This has sparked a debate on whether a custom or religious tradition common in one country can be practiced in another country with different laws and customs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To get an insider's view of this practice, read Waris Dirie's memoir "Desert Flower". She was circumcised in the desert with a rusty razor blade, and has been suffering the consequences ever since.