I decided to do this paper in an effort to try and become less ethnocentric and find an appreciation of cultural practices which were not of my own. I feel I have found a deeper appreciation for many African cultural practices, but my research of African culture has exposed me to many practices that seem inhumane and barbaric. One cultural practice that I just cannot bring myself to agree with is the treatment and oppression of African women by men. Through my studies on Female Genital Mutilation, I had hoped to find a valid explanation for this procedure that is so frequently being done to women and female children. Instead, I found something deep within myself that wishes this mutilation would come to an end. Allow me to provide you with the facts.
Female Genital Mutilation, sometimes also referred to as femal circumcision, is a surgical modification of the female genitalia. Ther are four forms of female genital mutilation. The first is called Mild Sunna. It is the removal of the prepuce of the clitoris. It is comparable to male circumcision when the foreskin is removed from the
penis. Next there is the Modified Sunna which is the partial or total removal of the body of the clitoris. Then you have the Clitoridectomy or Excision. This is the removal of all or part of the clitoris as well as all or part of the labia minora. Lastly, there is Infibulation or Pharaonic circumcision. This consists of a clitoridectomy and the removal of the labia minora and also the inner layers of the labia
majora. The raw edges of the vulva are then sewn together with catgut or brought together by use of thorns. A small sliver of wood or straw is often then inserted into the vagina to prevent complete occlusion and to ...
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... Nearly one hundred fifty million females have undergone this procedure and it is estimated that each year 2 million individuals are still at risk. I am hoping that this information will grab at the hearts of others and educate readers on the facts of Female Genital Mutilation. With that, I devote this to my sisters in Africa in hopes that this violation will one day come to an end.
1. Do They Hear You When You Cry. Fauziya Kassindja. 1998
2. Female Genital Mutilation. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists Committee Opinion. Number 151. Jan. 2003
3. Female Genital Mutilation. Council of Scientific Affairs. American Medical Association. JAMA Dec. 2000. Vol.274. No. 21
4. Infibulation in the Horn of Africa. Guy Pieters M.D. Albert B. Lowentels M.D. New York State Journal of Medicine. April 2001. Vol. 77. Number 6. pgs.729-731
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