Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)’ Category

World leaders pledged to eradicate female genital mutilation under a set of global goals agreed in 2015, but the ancient ritual remains deeply entrenched in many African countries

Thomas Reuters Foundation

More than 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone genital cutting in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, ranging from nicks to extreme damage.


A British court has sentenced a 37-year-old Ugandan woman to 11 years in prison for the genital cutting of her 3-year-old daughter


“…..The girl was taken to a hospital and lost a significant amount of blood because of her injuries, according to the BBC.

The judge, Philippa Whipple, said the woman was guilty of child abuse. “It’s a barbaric practice and a serious crime,” she said. “It’s an offense which targets women, particularly inflicted when they are young and vulnerable.”

The girl’s father, 43, had been cleared of charges.

Female genital cutting has been illegal in Britain since 1985, but previous prosecutions have led to acquittals…..”

Sixteen men and three women have been arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting female genital mutilation (FGM) in eastern Uganda after reports of gangs attacking women in the region.


Female genital alteration: a compromise solution

Arora KS, Jacobs AJ. J Med Ethics 2016;00:1–7. doi:10.1136/medethics-2014-102375

Journal of Medical Ethics

“…… In order to better protect female children from the serious and longterm harms of some types of non-therapeutic FGA, we must adopt a more nuanced position that acknowledges a wide spectrum of procedures that alter female genitalia. We offer a revised categorisation for nontherapeutic FGA that groups procedures by effect and not by process. Acceptance of de minimis procedures that generally do not carry long-term medical risks is culturally sensitive, does not discriminate on the basis of gender, and does not violate human rights. More morbid procedures should not be performed. However, accepting de minimis non-therapeutic f FGA procedures enhances the effort of compassionate practitioners searching for a compromise position that respects cultural differences but protects the health of their patients…..”



“…..The new traditions are taking hold in Maasai and Samburu communities in Kenya and Tanzania. After two or three days of preparatory sessions for the girls, the celebration culminates with communal singing and dancing and blessings by the village elders, who pour a mixture of milk and honey and water over the heads of the girls. Goats and cows are slaughtered for specially prepared stews or roasts. Traditional beer is brewed for the men to drink. The young women don multi­colored clothing and decorative beads that dangle from their heads and hang around their necks.

Such ceremonies have included from 200 to over 1,000 girls….. with several communities often coming together for the celebration. Usually, the elders also make a public declaration abandoning FGM, and the young men will similarly make public assurances that they will marry women who did not undergo FGM. That’s important because any girl who refused to be cut was shamed and shunned, subjected to a life of isolation, without marriage or children.

And at the center of the celebration are the girls themselves. During the two to three days preceding the celebration, participating girls in the alternative rites of passage are secluded, in a school dormitory or village hut, where they learn about womanhood: lessons which now include sex education, information about STDs and violence against women, and presentations emphasizing the importance of continuing education for girls and women’s rights. The traditional cutters who had in the past performed the cut also are usually present, discussing their role in the past — and explaining the health reasons for abandoning the practice…..”

‘Vacation Cutting’


“….Girls in Kenya are being taken across the border to countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia and Ethiopia for female genital mutilation (FGM) to avoid a crackdown on the harmful traditional practice at home, campaigners said on Monday.
Kenya criminalized FGM in 2011 with a minimum punishment of three years imprisonment and a U.S. $2,000 fine….”

Female genital mutilation/cutting rates have seen a “huge and significant decline” among African girls in the last 2 decades


“……Using data from 29 countries and going back to 1990, the report’s authors found that the biggest fall in cutting was in East Africa.

The prevalence rate there dropped from 71% of girls under 14 in 1995, to 8% in 2016……”


Kandala N, Ezejimofor MC, Uthman OA, et al

Secular trends in the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting among girls: a systematic analysis

Two sisters have allegedly died in Somalia from complications that arose after undergoing female genital mutilation



“……the sisters were cut the same day by a local circumciser.

They continued bleeding 24 hours after the procedure, and died while their mother was taking them to a health center…

The sisters’ death comes two months after Somalia’s government vowed to pursue a landmark prosecution in the case of a 10-year-old girl who died after female genital mutilation, a practice that is legal in the country.
Deeqa Dahir Nuur died two days after she was subjected to one of the most extreme forms of female genital mutilation, according to doctors who tried to save her after she suffered complications from the procedure performed by a local cutter in another village in Somalia on July 17…..”


A spoon in underwear: How does that help protect against forced marriages?

Thomas Reuters Foundation

“……”The spoon will trigger metal detectors when you go through security checks…..You will be taken aside and you can then talk to staff in private.”…..”

The world’s most dangerous megacity for women

Thomas Reuters

“…..The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey asked experts in women’s issues in 19 megacities how well women are protected from sexual violence, and from harmful cultural practices, and whether they have access to good healthcare, finance and education……”

The worst:

  • Cairo (#1)
  • Karachi
  • Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • New Delhi

The best: 

  • London (#1)
  • Tokyo
  • Paris

“…..Delhi and Sao Paulo emerged as the worst cities when respondents were asked if women could live there without the risk of sexual violence, including rape, attacks or harassment…”

“….Authorities recorded four rapes every hour in India in 2015….”


The poll


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