Female Genital Mutilation Gaining International Sympathy

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons is a barbaric act to womanhood. The practice violates the basic rights of women and girls and seriously compromises their health, posing risks during childbirth and leaving lasting physical and psychological scars.

Estimated statistics from the United Nations reveal that 120 to 140 million women have been subjected to the practice and three million girls continue to be at risk each year. Disturbingly, about 6.000 new cases of FGM are experienced every day, giving a ratio of about five girls every minute.

Worthy is the fact that International organisations have not folded their arms to these cruel acts against women.

Photo: Can you believe these are the instruments that used to circumcise a woman?


Reason why the United Nations designed 06th February, as the international day against female Genital Mutilation in other to raise awareness amongst the general public about this cold-blooded act. It is however regrettable that he practice of FGM is still widespread in spite of a global commitment following the 2002 UN special session on children to end FGM by 2010.


Despite growing concern some countries still find it difficult to have official statistics on the act. In Cameroon for example, experts from the county’s ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Family, say it is difficult to have statistics on the practice of FGM in the given that those who practice it do so in hiding while victims of FGM are usually ashamed and afraid to testify in public due to traditional treats from kinsmen, stigmatisation etc.  

Nonetheless, a UN report estimates that about 20 per cent of women in the country go through a form of FGM called infibulations which occurs in certain areas of the south west and Northern provinces little wonder why Cameroon joined the international community to commemorate the first International Day against FGM. Suzanne Mbomback, the country’s minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, used the occasion to condemn the practice and underscored government’s commitment to respect and protect the rights of its citizens. On this score, the minister urged all to join in the fight against the barbaric act. The day was characterised by debates and films projections against the practice of FGM.


AUTHOR: Yemti Haryy Ndienla

URL: Click here

DATE: 23/02/2008

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