Around 150 million girls and women worldwide are affected by female
genital mutilation. Each year there are an estimated three million
further cases. That means 8,000 new victims per day. (UNICEF)
According to the definition of the WHO (World Health Organization),
Female Genital Mutilation
comprises all procedures involving partial or even total removal
of the external female genitalia, whether for cultural, religious
or other reasons.
The acronym 'FGM' stands for Female Genital Mutilation. FGM
has become the internationally accepted term for this practice.
Depending on regional tradition, infants, girls of every age
or (less often) adult women become victims of FGM.
WHO distinguishes four types of Female Genital Mutilation:
Excision of the prepuce, with or without excision of a part
of the clitoris or the entire clitoris;
Removal of the clitoris with partial or total excision of
the labia minora (the inner labia);
Excision of a part or of all the external genitalia as well
as stitching or otherwise narrowing the vaginal opening -
the so-called infibulation;
All FGM practices that are not listed under Types I-III, including
those not mentioned here. Among these practises are: pricking,
piercing or stretching of the clitoris and/or labia, burning
of the clitoris and surrounding tissue; the scraping of tissue
surrounding the vaginal orifice or cutting of the vagina;
the introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the
vagina, either to cause bleeding or to tighten it.
Consequences of FGM
depend, among others, on the degree of mutilation, the methods
used and sanitation. The consequences comprise not just physical,
but also the most severe, lifelong psychological traumata
Some consequences of FGM are: unimaginable pain during the
actual procedure, shock as well as death due to bloodloss.
Later consequences are pain, massive problems to urinate,
during sexual intercourse, during menstruation, during childbirth
and many more.
You can learn more facts about FGM under "Further Information"