Female genital mutilation, also called female circumcision or genital cutting, is an international health epidemic that has affected over 140 million girls worldwide. It is a gruesome procedure most often performed on girls between 7 and 10 years-old, which has no health benefits but many extreme health risks.
Because it is a cultural value to many and often surrounded by secrecy, the international community has been mostly unsuccessful in its efforts to combat FGM.
Right: Women have the right to be free from bodily harm and to control their own sexual health.
Plight: Over 140 million girls are forcefully subjected to the procedure.
Many immigrant families hold traditional practices dear as a way of preserving the culture of their homeland and the rise of FGM in Western countries is a tragic downside of this trend. The presence of FGM in American cities is on the rise, and because of the secrecy around it, it is difficult to enforce the laws.
Many countries have laws banning the procedure, but experts say education and awareness is key to helping young women stand up for themselves.
Ready to get involved to put an end to FGM? First, get the information on FGM and read up on the facts.
Then, get familiar with laws about FGM and spread the word through books and movies about the practice.
And let us know, what ways you can think of to combat FGM? Comment below!