Female excision has been widely practiced for hundreds and even thousands of years in certain parts of Africa. This cultural practice is defined by the World Health Organization as any “procedure involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (Female Genital Mutilation). Generally, female excision is “performed without anesthetics under septic conditions by practitioners with little or no knowledge of human anatomy or medicine” (Althaus). Some of the medical complications include severe pain (both long and short term), shock, retention of urine, hemorrhage, infection, in some cases death. Psychological effects can include severe anxiety, trauma, and depression (Moen). Despite the fact that the medical short and long term effects of female excision can be fatal, the practice is seen as an essential part of “[a society’s] cultural and ethnic identity” (Althaus). Even though it is established in many communities throughout Africa, female excision is a blatant violation of basic human rights. The justifications for the ancient practice vary; however, in most cases they are deeply rooted in ignorance and discrimination. The argument to continue this age-old tradition is simple minded, illogical and outdated, and the practice should be condemned by all who support universal human rights.
My first contention is that female excision is a violation of human rights because it is a cultural tradition that subjugates and degrades women. Tradition is an important part of any society, but just because something is a tradition does not make it morally right. Many supporters of the continuation of female excision just...
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"Female Genital Mutilation." WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.
"A Human Rights Violation." END FGM // Female Genital Mutilation Is a Gross Violation of Human Rights. Human Dignity Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.
Lescure, Sophie. "Female Genital Mutilation." FEMALE GENITAL (n.d.): n. pag. Reproductive Rights Organization. Web.
Moen, Elizabeth W. "The Sexual Politics of Female Circumcision." Sociology. University of Colorado, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.
"Q&A on Female Genital Mutilation." HRW. Human Rights Watch, 16 June 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Declaration, Human Rights Charter, The Un and Human Rights." UN News Center. United Nations, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.
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