Authors: Magoha GA, Magoha OB.
To provide an overview of the current global status of female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision practised in various countries.
Major published series of peer reviewed journals writing about female genital mutilation (FGM) over the last two decades were reviewed using the index medicus and medline search. A few earlier publications related to the FGM ritual as practised earlier were also reviewed including the various techniques and tools used, the "surgeons or perpetrators" of the FGM ritual and the myriad of medical and sexual complications resulting from the procedure. Global efforts to abolish the ritual and why such efforts including legislation has resulted in little or no success were also critically reviewed.
FGM remains prevalent in many countries including African countries where over 136 million women have been 'circumcised' despite persistent and consistent efforts by various governments, WHO and other bodies to eradicate the ritual by the year 2000 AD. This is as a result of deep rooted cultures, traditions and religions. Although FGM should be abolished globally, it must involve gradual persuasion which should include sensitisation and adequate community-based educational and medical awareness campaign. Mere repression through legislation has not been successful, and women need to be provided with other avenues for their expression of social status approval and respectability other than through FGM.
East Afr Med J. 2000 May; 77(5):268-723. Review. PubMed PMID: 12858919
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