Female Genital Mutilation is defined by the World Health Organisation as the practise of partially or totally removing the external female genitalia, or causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. This is a common practise in Africa and some parts of Asia and to a lesser extent among immigrants in the west. http://reproductiverights.org/en/document/female-genital-mutilation-fgm-legal-prohibitions-worldwide.
FGM is usually performed in young girls between 0 - 15years and is of no medical benefit. Ladies who have undergone FGM suffer with both short term and long term consequences. Short term repercussions include inflicting severe pain, shock, haemorrhaging, sepsis and urine retention. Long term aftermaths include infertility, increased risk of childbirth complications, increased risks of new born deaths, recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections.
There are about 140 million girls and women worldwide living with these consequences and FGM is now a violation of the human rights of girls and women. In Britain the practice was outlawed in 1985 and taking children out of the country to have it performed was made illegal in 2003. Eighteen African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Togo have passed laws declaring FGM illegal. Other countries in the west such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and United States where immigrants practise this have also enacted laws against FGM.
Regardless, this brutal practise is still happening today. Watch this. WARNING: DISTRESSING AND DISTURBING CONTENT -http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jul/25/female-circumcision-children-british-law
In the quest to raise awareness of the inhumane nature if this practise, the 6th of February has been set aside as the international day on female genital mutilation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcDXTt9eN9M&feature=related
Here is all you need to know about the severity of Female Genital Mutilation. Join hands educate to eradicate. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/