In my last article, I talked about the painful and traumatic procedure of female circumcision which is also known as FGC, or female genital cutting. It is essentially a form of genital mutilation.
Why would mothers let their daughters be subjected to this practice? It is the mothers themselves and other women in the community, who are involved in what is often considered a rite of passage into womanhood. One reason is that many families think that it will make it easier for their daughters to get married.
The curtailing of sexual desire is another factor in this mutilation rite.
According to the website WomensHealth.gov "Women who are not circumcised can be viewed as dirty and be treated as outcasts."
This same website maintains that some Muslim communities believe that female circumcision is a practice consistent with being a good religious follower.
International human rights organizations like Amnesty International have long campaigned against FGC. The World Health Organization and the UN Commission on Human Rights have done likewise. They all view it as a violent act that carries with it life long traumas and serious health problems. Many African and Asian countries want it banned. Some people have maintained that it should not be eliminated because it is a cultural tradition.
For more information go to Amnesty International's website at http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/femgen/fgm1.htm.