Female Genital Mutilation

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Outline of the problem
FGM is a practice which is rooted into the Masaai traditions and culture for decades. It is a procedure that involves partial removal of the female genital organs. It is now recognized on an international basis as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and more importantly highlights an extreme form of discrimination against women. This practice which is performed at a young age violates the individual’s security and health rights. The treatment is inhumane and often leads to torturous consequences with some often resulting in death. The WHO (2013) statistics have revealed that an estimated 100 to 140 million women, girls and children around the world have under-gone this painful procedure with disabling consequences and long term risks and another 3 million girls are at risk of mutilation each year. FGM is seen as an annual ceremony for the community who perceive it as a celebration of adolescence. Within the Maasai community 99% of women have under-gone this procedure most of which are between the age of 12- 14. The procedure is carried out with a sharp instrument known as ‘ormurunya’ after which paste and milk fat is applied to stop bleeding. Women cannot voice their opinion and those who refuse to undergo the procedure are commonly seen as having shunned their culture and therefore face a high risk of being unaccepted by the family and being isolated from the community. There are various reasons to why this procedure is practiced most
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