Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is sometimes not fully understood from just looking at its name. It’s helpful to separate the different types of mutilation that fit into the FGM umbrella to gain a fuller understanding. In this article, FGM is separated into four general types. It is important to note that all four of these types are a violation of these women’s natural rights to their bodies.
In most instances, FGM is performed on a girl at the age of a minor without the consent of the individual. This medical procedure has no health benefits and is often done by a non-medical professional. This non-medical professional usually plays a central role in the community and is highly regarded. It is clear that this practice is centered around the idea of gender inequality in the community. Education is an extremely important way to fight this cultural norm.
What Are The Types of FGM
Clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce.
This practice damages sensitive tissue, which makes the practice extremely painful. The clitoris plays a major role in sexual stimulation and with its removal or damage; pleasure from sex is greatly reduced.
Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (lips surrounding the vagina). Sometimes including the excision of the labia majora.
This practice damages sexually sensitive tissue, so it is extremely painful. It is also important to note that these procedures are usually done by non-professionals, so the chance of infection is high.
Infibulation: this is narrowing of the vaginal opening by cutting and sewing over the outer ‘lips.’ Sometimes including the removal of the clitoris or inner labia.
Again, this damages sexually sensitive tissue, so it is extremely painful with the risk of infection high.
The closing of the vagina and the urethra causes women to have a small opening in which they need to pass urine and menstrual fluid. Cutting is needed if the woman wants to participate in childbirth or sexual intercourse.
Other: all other harmful mutilations to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. Examples of this include: piercing, incising, scraping, pricking, cauterizing, and stretching.
Regardless of the type of FGM practiced it important to always remember these procedures damage both the physical and psychological health of women. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 200 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation. Furthermore, there are an estimated 3 million girls at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation every year—most who are younger than fifteen.
But it is most important to remember one other thing: there is always hope. The Surgery Center for Female Genital Mutilation is a non-profit FGM surgery center for women who have been subjected to this inhumane practice. We strive to help women reclaim their sexual identity by restoring what was taken from them without consent.
We have a staff of professional psychologists and surgeons prepared to walk everyone through the step by step process. Contact us today if you wish to make a confidential appointment or if you wish to donate.