Female Genital Mutilation alive, well & also practiced on United States girls

razor used for FGM
A woman in Mombasa, Kenya, shows the razorblade she uses to cut girls’ genitals. Photograph: Ivan Lieman/Barcroft Media via The Guardian
A new investigation turned up about 70 million more victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) worldwide than previously known, many living in Indonesia. About half a million are girls from the United States of America, sometimes brought overseas by their parents for “vacation cutting”.

The UN shares these key facts about the practice:

  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot reports,

In Guinea, where 97% of girls aged 15 to 49 are FGM victims despite the practice being outlawed, Unicef staff described seeing girls taken away from their families against their will to be cut, on the orders of village authorities. One five-year-old died from her wounds.

In honor of International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 06 February 2016, let’s raise our voices to end this terrible practice. I’m not yet sure how we go about that, but for starters we can share information to let people know this is happening to a lot of women. Have faith that solutions will emerge.