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FRANCE: Female Genital Mutilation, A Social Reality In France

Its a little-known fact that in Europe there are almost 7 million circumcised women. In France there are at least 60,000 adults and several thousand minors who have been circumcised.

Female circumcision is also carried out on babies just a few days old, too young to be able remember it. Few survive.

The practice has been widely reported in the media and happens less often today in France, but it hasn't been completely eradicated. Despite efforts to stop the practice, every year around 20,000 young women risk circumcision in France.

In France, all children have to have medical tests until the age of six, after which its impossible to check the physical integrity of a child.

So now, some parents wait until a young girl turns six before taking them on holiday to their country of origin and circumcising them.

Pierre Foldes, a surgeon and urologist in the Paris suburbs, aims to ease the pain for these women. Twenty-five years ago, he invented a surgical method which can repair the damage caused by the knife.

SOURCE: France24

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DATE: 02/07/2009

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