Medicalization of FGM threat to fight against the practice


Medicalization of FGM threat to fight against the practice
A participant takes a picture of proceedings at the US End FGM summit held at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC in December 2016. PHOTO/Courtesy

The menace of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has taken a new twist after reports indicated that the vice is now practiced globally and in a modernized manner and performed by professional doctors.

According to Equality Now, the harmful cultural practice which is a human rights violation, which was associated with Africans, is not only a preserve for Africans as countries such as the U.S. are practicing it despite Kenya and other countries outlawing it.

Based on the number of FGM procedures performed by medics, the study shows that Egypt has the highest rate of medicalization of FGM at 75%, Sudan comes second at 50%, while Kenya is third at 41%.

“This shows that FGM is a global issue and not confined to geographical boarders. Medicalization of the practice is driven by the false belief that FGM performed by doctors will reduce the health risks or stop its immediate complications This has created a new obstacle to the End FGM Campaign,” explains Mary Wandia, End FGM Campaign Manager at Equality Now, Kenya.

Ms Wandia says that FGM is harmful to the girl child whether performed by a traditional cutter or by a medic.

“It is a human rights violation and an extreme form of violence against girls and women,” she argues.

A U.S. doctor, Jumana Nagarwala, who has ties to Kenya was recently charged with violating a law prohibiting the practice of FGM.

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Story By Majanga Michael
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