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Female Genital Mutilation

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Essay title: Female Genital Mutilation

For one minute I just want you to think you were born a female in an African country. Did you no you are 90% more likely to have had gone through some form of female genital mutilation. Every day, thousands of girls are targeted for mutilation. Like torture, female genital mutilation (FGM) involves the deliberate infliction of severe pain and suffering. Its effects can be life-threatening. Most survivors have to cope with the physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or complete removal of the external female genitals for cultural rather than medical reasons.

Other names for FGM include female circumcision or ritual female surgery. It is performed in some African, South American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Mutilation is a cultural rather than a religious practice, and its origins are unknown.

Usually, it is performed from a few days after birth to puberty, but in some regions, the torture can be put off until just before marriage or the seventh month of pregnancy

Globally, approximately 5 girls are mutilated every minute." If we do the math, we discover that equates to 300 per hour, or 7,200 per day, or 50,400 per week, or 2,620,800 per year. Considering that women make up 49% of the world, form 35% of its paid labor force, head 33% of its households, make up 95% of its nurses, perform 62% of its work hours, yet receive 10% of the world's income, own 1% of its property, make up 70% of its poor, 66% of the illiterate, 80% of the refugees, 75% of the sick, it seems to me that women--in these country’s live in a male dominated world and are there for convenience not happiness.

The different types of FGM are classified by the extent of the surgery involved, and include:

• Type I -. The hood of skin that sits over the clitoris is removed.

• Type II - The entire clitoris is removed.

• Type III - The external genitals are partly or totally removed and the wound stitched together, leaving a small gap to allow the passage of menstrual fluid and urine

• Type IV - other practices including piercing, cauterizing, scraping or using corrosive substances designed to scar and narrow the vagina.

In most cases only a small opening the size of the tip of a matchstick is left for the passage of menstrual blood and urine. Now I bet your wondering, how will these women be able to give birth or have sex. Well the answer is, on the couples wedding night, the new husband will use a sharp object, like a kitchen knife, and cut the females genitals open to the right size without any pain killers or hygienic utensils. So you could imagine the pain these innocent women have to go through everyday because of the scare that they are not pure or a virgin. Because of there scare tissue being damaged, the clitoris will constantly grow over, meaning the males have to cut the women’s genitals at least once every 2 years. Now you will understand why a simple trip to the toilet is an extremely painful experience.

Some of the beliefs surrounding FGM may involve:

• Ensuring virginity.

• Enhancing marriage prospects

• Reducing sexual desire.

• Reinforcing gender 'differences' - the clitoris is seen as 'male' and is removed to make sure the girl doesn't develop 'male' traits, such as aggression or promiscuity.

• Enhancing beauty or 'cleanliness' - the female genitals are seen as ugly and dirty.

To put this in perspective, FGM would be like cutting off

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