Imagine this! Being either a young girl or a woman forcefully bound against your will while elders perform a procedure called Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The young girls and women who are forced to have this procedure done not only loses their rights to sexual pleasure but their rights are sliced, chopped, punctured, and finally burnt away. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) otherwise known as Female Genital Circumcision (FGC) is also a controversial topic in Western societies. This paper will examine the history of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), hegemonic perspective on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), health consequences of having this procedure done, how Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) affects women’s sexual function, and women who
In the 17th and 18th Century, a new age erupted in Europe that shaped the world and it’s ideas to this day, called the Enlightenment Period or the Age of Reason. During the Enlightenment Period, hundreds of individual ideas were expressed between philosophers as well as the citizens of England and France. Interestingly enough, most of these ideas seemed to share one central theme together. This theme was around individual freedoms that people can and should have, and the natural rights they should also hold. In these discussions of individual freedoms, sprouted innovative ideas regarding politics, economics, religion, and social rights.
Female Genital Mutilation, shortened to FGM in most medical texts, is “collective name given to several different traditional practices that involve the cutting of female genitals.” FGM is a common cultural practice in many parts of the world, especially Africa and Asia that was established hundreds of years ago. There are many different types of FGM, ranging from clitoridectomy, to cutting and infibulations (Skaine 7). Even though these procedures are accepted in the areas they are practiced, FGM has become a human rights discussion resurfacing in recent years because the procedures serve no purpose. Female Genital Mutilation is an unethical practice that should be outlawed throughout the entire world.
Female genital mutilation may be currently reaching a changing point in its history. It is a cultural practice that is considered to have long standing importance but female genital mutilation presents to most developed nations a need for education and a need to clarify ethical dilemmas regarding it. In most cases, the push for female genital mutilation to be eradicated comes from within individual cultures and communities but internationally there is also support for eradication of this problem. The main dilemma is that most groups that actively practice female genital mutilation see it as a necessary or even obligatory ritual that defines them as a culture and gives their culture or religion autonomy. It is (at the time that this paper was written) illegal to perform female genital mutilation on a child in the United Sates but not on an adult woman, which includes anyone who is who is older than 18 years old. However, ultimately, female genital mutilation is unethical regardless of who it is performed upon, so the United States’ health care providers and the laws governing them need to step beyond their traditionally followed roles on this issue. In fact, health care providers ought to join the ongoing worldwide efforts to completely eradicate female genital mutilation. Health care providers
The side that was pro FGC, wasn't necessarily pro-mutilation, but was against the Western nations imposing their so called "superior" teachings and culture upon the Africans. The issue of Imperialism along with the stigma attached with someone who was "mutilated". The article discussed how the stigma surrounding a woman who was cut is similar to using the N word to describe someone of African descent. The side against FGC brought up many solid arguments including health problems, and mental toil on the recipient. Many health problems come along with FGC, as many women have to be cut open to have intercourse with their husbands, and then resown. Thousands of women every year either die or suffer serious and life lasting injuries due to this tradition. While no-one was pro imperialism, the idea of "educating" the people who practice this tradition seemed
However, I question such reasoning. Is FGM a human rights violation? I believe it can be, especially in cases in which the practice is done on children and/or forced. And while this may be true in many cases and the masking of this under the guise of maintaining tradition must be addressed by the world community, female circumcision is not always forced and is possible to be performed on a consenting adult for various cultural reasons. This may be a difficult argument to follow in countries such as Djibouti and Egypt, in which the prevalence of FGM reaches close to ninety-eight percent of the female population. However, there are many countries in sub Saharan Africa such as Kenya and Liberia that are closer to fifty percent and many countries with an even smaller percentage of the female population being circumcised , so there is some level of choice in these countries. No matter how unnecessary and barbaric some may see the practice, FGM must be acknowledged as a cultural practice in cases in which it is not forced but rather sought after by a consenting adult, utilizing cultural relativism in recognizing that female circumcision may be an acceptable practice to some people and their culture should not be persecuted unnecessarily by members of the contemporary human rights movement who cannot relate to it for no reason other than that. So the question is asked again, is female genital mutilation a violation of human rights? Only in some cases. For this reason, to
The political views of male Enlightenment figures consisted of campaigning for human rights and freedom for all, but when they said all, in most cases this invitation did not include women. During the Enlightenment, the period of reasoning and logic, new ideas supporting women’s rights were conceived. The persecution and objectification that women have faced throughout history is immeasurable. There was nothing close to equality between men and women in political, social, or economic fields. Men considered women’s only purpose their ability to bear children, heirs for the upper classes and laborers for the lower. Women’s fathers and husbands had dictated the limitations and rules of conduct for women, placing restraints as in which people they
The first news publication that we will be analyzing is an article titled “Anatomy of Female Genital Mutilation” written by Michelle Roberts (2014) of BBC News. This article begins to inform the readers about what female genital mutilation is exactly. According to Roberts (2014) female genital mutilation is defined as, “any procedure that harms the female genital organs for non-medical purposes”. The article continues to inform its readers that among the stages of female genital mutilation, the most severe one includes when a woman’s clitoris is removed, then her genitals are stitched together so that the female does not have or enjoy sex. As girls, grow up to bear children, during labor and delivery, she is again unstitched
Female circumcision has been a cultural tradition practiced in different parts of the world for many years in order to secure virginity until marriage. In Africa female genital mutilation tradition is a part of the Muslim culture and parts of the Middle East, for the women to be desirable by her husband. (JPEG) Consequently, girls the ages of 4 through 14 are to endure the severe pains of female circumcision in order to not betray their culture and family beliefs. (Ali, 2016) In the US, the estimated number of females between 15 and 49, who are either at risk of genital mutilation or who have already undergone a procedure, has reached more than 500,000, triple the amount reported in the 1990 national census. (Female genital mutilation in the US tripled in 25 years, 2015) This controversial practice performed on females lead advocates to believe that this is a form of female genital mutilation that must come to an end. (Ali, 2016)
Yes, the article speaks to how FGM is enacted across the world but it does not speak to efforts made internationally to end this widespread issue. Briefly, the role of the United Nations is mentioned as “In December the UN unanimously passed a resolution banning the practice” (Kielburger). Beyond this one line, there is no mention of international development of the attempted ending of FGM. I understand this article was written by two Canadians on the Canada specific section of the publication but I would have appreciated a little more global awareness. How are other developed nations such as the United States or United Nations dealing with this issue? What are more specific plans made by international organizations like the UN doing to follow their general statements? I also understand that this article was written in 2013 and we now have more context and information on this issue but I still wanted more depth from the article. Perhaps, a follow-up style article would be appropriate to see how the matter has
Female Genital Mutilation, is a topic which has caused many controversies worldwide. Female Genital Mutilation is a tradition since antiquity, which occurs in twenty eight countries in Africa, and among certain communities in the Middle East, and Asia. The latitude of this issue is massive. The United Nations estimates that this practice has been performed on about 140 million females, who encounter immediate complications of shock, infections, damage to the urethra, scar formation, tetanus, bladder infections, HIV, along with long -term complications that lead to death (Lauren V, 2011). It is estimated that 3 million girls are at risk annually! During this paper, I will discuss in depth the two ethical theories (Deontology and Utilitarianism). These ethical theories will be a guide, to help understand the moral issues of Female Mutilation, and whether one can view female mutilation to be right or wrong. Aside from the ethical theories, I
The Age of Reason, or simply known as the Enlightenment period, was a movement where European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically rethought. Enlightenment thinkers questioned traditional authority and embraced the ideas that humanity could be improved through change. Numerous books, essays, laws, inventions, wars and revolutions came about during this period. The Declaration of Independence, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Declaration of the Rights of Women, all written during this period, were directly influenced by Enlightenment ideas. All three documents stress freedom and equality. Yet, all three are different in the circumstances in which they were written.
Some cultures see this practice as ritualistic but many times these procedures are done with usually no anesthetic. This ‘ritual’ leads to lifelong problems for the woman which include chronic infection, severe pain during urination and childbirth not to mention the awful psychological trauma involved with going through this torture. Often times the practice is an attempt to control the developing woman’s sexuality by “protecting” her virginity and also by suppressing any sexual desire that may be felt (Female Genital Mutilation,
Prior to the 1700’s, France existed as an elitist society vastly divided by economic status and religious standing. As various Enlightenment philosophers such as Diderot and Locke gained more favor with the majority of french citizens, various figures began to support equality of people within France. The most difficult question had yet to have been answered however: to what caliber should these rights be extended? Despite the fact that the French Revolution was a vastly political movement, the advancements in human rights were mainly centered around the propulsion of the common man, the promotion of women’s standings in society, and the concept of man’s natural rights.