Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is generally done as a cultural practice and not as a religious one. But this system is being followed by some religions as well. Of course, all individuals are free to practice their culture and religion. But several human rights organizations question the ethical background of this system stating that it is a direct violation of a minors’ right to live. Female circumcision is widely being practiced in African nations. It is indeed shocking that the statistic rates of female circumcision are well above seventy per cent in certain countries like Sudan.
The practice has its roots in the misbelief that a girl will mature into a woman only if this procedure is done on her. Through female genital mutilation, all or some of the external parts of the female genitalia gets removed. Sunna circumcision, Clitoridectomy and Infibulation (pharonic circumcision) are the three major ways through which female circumcision is done.
In Sunna circumcision, the hood or the prepuce along with the tip of the clitoris are taken away. Clitoridectomy relates to the complete removal of clitoris together with the nearby labia. Infibulation also consists of performing a clitoridectomy. But in this case, it is then stitched up allowing a small hole to remain. It is through this hole that urine and menstrual blood will pass out.
There is no medical evidence that support the practice of female genital mutilation. Moreover, it is likely to result in serious complications that might even lead to the death of the circumcised girl. Some of the major side effects of female circumcision include urine retention, hemorrhaging, menstrual complications, infertility, loss of sexual pleasure, infection, severe pain and also mental disturbances.
Researchers in this field argue that circumcision, both that on male and female, should be done only for medical reasons. People undergoing the circumcision surgery should be legally old enough to decide whether it should be done on them or not.