Friday, November 23, 2018

What is female genital mutilation?

Global Citizen; Julia Lalla-Maharajh (TEDx); Editors, Wisdom Quarterly Wikipedia edit

This can't be real for 200 million females!
Female genital mutilation or FGM/c is also called "female circumcision" and "female genital cutting."

It is the ritual of cutting (actually mutilating) or removing (excising) all or part of the external female genitalia including the most sensitive -- and arguably the most precious -- part of the female body responsible for most orgasms: the clitoris.

This barbaric practice is found in the USA, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and within communities from countries in which FGM/c is common. UNICEF estimated in 2016 that 200 million women living today in 30 countries -- 27 African countries, Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen -- have undergone the procedures.

Typically carried out by a traditional circumciser using a blade, FGM/c is conducted from days after birth to puberty and beyond.

How to end FGM/c in our lifetime

(TEDx Talks) How to end female genital cutting in our lifetime by Julia Lalla-Maharajh, TEDx London Business School, May 31, 2016. By sharing her passionate fight to end this taboo, Julia lifts the lid on how social change happens and explores how radical shifts can lead to extraordinary results. Through her time spent volunteering in Ethiopia, Julia Lalla-Maharajh had a first-hand glimpse into the devastating practice of female genital cutting. Deeply affected, Julia founded the Orchid Project, where she worked on the ground in Senegal and The Gambia and witnessed an incredible grassroots movement of communities choosing not to cut their daughters. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

In half the countries for which national figures are available, most girls are cut before the age of 5. Procedures differ according to the country or ethnic group.

They include removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glans, removal of the inner labia, and removal of the inner and outer labia, and closure of the vulva.

In this last procedure, known as "infibulation," a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid. Later, the vagina is further mutilated by being cut open for intercourse and opened further for childbirth.
The practice is rooted in gender inequality, attempts to control women's sexuality, and ideas about purity, modesty, and beauty. 

It is usually initiated and carried out by women, who see it as a source of honor and fear that failing to have their daughters and granddaughters cut will expose the girls to social exclusion. More

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