Today is the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM! What is FGM?
Female Genital Mutilation.
In short, Female Genital Mutilation is total or partial removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO estimates that 140 million girls and women are affected by FGM each year (WHO, 2013). There are no known health benefits to FGM. Even worse, it can cause several short and long-term complications such as pain, severe bleeding, dislocation, infections, scarring, etc. Last year, Julia wrote an excellent post about Female Genital Mutilation, Cutting, and Positive Change.
Amnesty International runs a campaign to End FGM. Follow them on Twitter @ENDFGM_Amnesty. This video was recently released featuring “Art for Action,” an initiative with the support of four international artists to raise awareness about FGM and violence against women.
There are several other organizations working to end FGM like:
- Equality Now
- Stop FGM Now
- Campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (CAGeM)
- and many others!
FGM is real. And it is a difficult issue. I was talking to a friend from Somalia a while ago and I brought up the topic of FGM. She immediately became defensive, defending this longstanding cultural tradition. We must raise awareness.