Female Genital Mutilation
According to UNICEF female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” FGM is a violation of girls’ and women’s human rights. Subsequently, WHO (World Health Organization) describe (FGM) as the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
It means a harmful traditional practice involving the female counter part have their external genitalia removed. The genitalia generally, refers to the vulva. In other terms the genitalia refers to the clitoris, reproductive organ, sex organ, private part, etc.
According to WHO, an estimation of about 200 million girls and women survived the Female genitalia mutilation practice in the countries firmly practicing it. Furthermore, an estimation of 3 million girls is at risk of going through this very harmful practice. This harmful practice befalls young girls before the age of 15.
Procedures of FGM?
This practice that is concerned with the removal of female external genitalia requires a native circumciser with the aid of a blade to perform the ritual of FGM. Although, FGM practice in stages which means circumcision begins days after birth to puberty and above. Notwithstanding, procedures differ in conducting FGM rituals from counties and ethnic groups. These procedures include: Removal of the clitoral hood, clitoral glens, inner and outer labia, and finally, closing the vulva. After all these procedures, a small hole is dug for the flow of urine and menstrual fluid. Consequently the vagina opening is for intercourse and for child birth.
REASONS FOR THE PRACTICE (FGM)
FGM suggests the regulation and control of women’s sexual desires, stops promiscuity from women so they can marry; it is also a significance of purity and modesty in women. Many countries who involve themselves in this act of FGM have their ideological concept as to why they practice FGM. Additionally, some people believe that the clitoris is unclean and unattractive therefore it must be removed, some believe the clitoris connotes maleness therefore it should be jettisoned.
According to WHO, FGM has no health benefit. This is a harmful practice girls suffer all in the name of tradition and culture.
FGM actually, has no health benefits and often leads to long-term physical and psychological effects. Medical complications can include severe pain, excessive bleeding, infection, infertility and even death. It similarly leads to increased risk of HIV transmission. However, in some countries, the practice stays as common today as it was three decades ago. About 90 per cent of women and girls in Guinea and Somalia undergo some form of genital mutilation or cutting. Subsequently, the progress to cease FGM needs to be at least 10 times quicker if the practice is to be eliminated by 2030.
In many countries, trained medical care professionals performs FGM– which is apparently against the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm”. Around 1 in 3 adolescent girls (15-19 years) who underwent FGM medical personnel cut them
Medicalizing the practice will not make it safer, as it still jettisons and jeopardizes healthy and normal tissue. More so, it interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies. Additionally, in some communities, the practice drove underground rather than ended. This led to girls subjected to FGM practices at younger ages amidst immense secrecy.
To enhance the banishment of FGM, co-operation and structural efforts need implementation to kick against it. Furthermore, they must involve the whole communities and concentrate on human rights and gender equality. They must also address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls suffering from its torture and trauma.
CURRENT SITUATION OF FGM IN NIGERIA
FGM is rampant in Nigeria. Some socio-cultural determinantson observation as giving support to this avoidable practice. FGM is very much invoking in the Nigerian society where critical decision makers are grandmothers, mothers, women, opinion leaders, men and age groups. FGM is a profound instance of discrimination based on sex. Often utilized as a way to control women’s sexuality, the practice is very much related with girls.
Mothers decide to subject female children to the practice to guide them against abuse, shunning, or humiliation. FGM was traditionally the area of traditional heads, traditional birth attendants or the commuters known for the trade. There is, however, the phenomenon of “medicalization” which has birth modern medical practitioners and community medical workers into the practice. The WHO is firmly against this medicalization. Likewise, against the institutionalization of FGM nor carried out in any form by any medical professional. The same goes to hospitals, clinics or in the home setting.
EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE FGM IN NIGERIA
Actually, tradition and culture are paramount facets of any society in aiding to shape perspective and behavioral patterns of the society. Certain traditions and cultural beliefs and practices like FGM are grotesque but the solution is to obviate it. A multidisciplinary approach can to deal with this deep-rooted legendary practice of FGM.
There is a need for legislation in Nigeria with health enlightenment and female liberation in the society. The procedure of social transformation in the community with a collective, coordinated concord to relinquish the practice “community-led action” is therefore essential. With enhancement in education and social positions of women and upsurge knowledge of complications of FGM. Most women who underwent FGM disapprove of the practice only few prepare to subject their daughters to such harmful process.
The more enlightened, effectively social and economical a woman is, the more she is capable to and comprehend the dangers of an abysmal practice like FGM and sees it as an unnecessary process and refuse to accept such harmful practice and refuse to subject her female children to such an operation or practice.
Female Genital Mutilation