Photo: Johnuniq, Wikipedia
Female Genital Mutilation is still prevalent in Africa, as you can see in this map.
FGM is not considered a reason for seeking asylum. Yet, as I mentioned in my previous post, FGM is an abusive practice.
Young women often do not have a choice, and the practice is becoming common increasingly at younger ages. Disturbingly, in some regions infants now undergo the procedure.
80% of FGM cases are type 1 or 2, which means an excision of the clitoris. 15% of cases are type 3, an excision of all external genitals. The scar needs to be opened for the woman to have intercourse or give birth, causing tremendous pain. This practice is common in the countries with high levels of FGM, such as Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Sudan. The fourth type of FGM (5%) injures the genitalia (such as by burning, piercing, or scarring).
I find this map interesting as countries with high FGM rates are some of the ones facing the threat of famine (such as Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen). They are among the poorest countries on earth.
Hurting women doesn’t just hurt a woman’s individual health and human rights – it damages an entire country’s well being.