Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: Introduction

This book is not a comfortable read, nor has it been an easy book to write.

The subject is of itself both exceedingly unpleasant and very distressing to contemplate, even at a safely cerebral distance. Close up or at first hand female genital mutilation (FGM) is traumatising: harrowing to observe and painful beyond endurance to experience directly. It is sometimes lethal and often permanently damaging, both physically and psychologically. its consequences carry on through generations, as women who have undergone FGM encounter obstetric problems, and their children – boys and girls, both – in turn are more likely than others to die, or to live lives marred by their difficult entry into the world.

Every eleven seconds a girl baby, child or young woman somewhere in the world undergoes genital mutilation, often by force and without pain relief or asepsis. FGM is a global epidemic of immense proportions; 3 million mutilations are estimated to be carried out every year….

TOPICS CONSIDERED in the Introduction to the book Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation:

Value-oriented, not culturally relativist     Discuss

The vocabulary of FGM

circumcision, cutting or mutilation?     Discuss

male and female ‘circumcision’     Discuss

survivor, victim or ‘just’ another person?     Discuss

criminal, perpetrator, procurer (or even also victim?)     Discuss

barbaric, cultural, religious?     Discuss

‘Purity’     Discuss

Patriarchy and feminism     Discuss

‘Honour’, FGM and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)     Discuss

Abolish? eliminate? eradicate?     Discuss

Cultural relativity     Discuss

Multi-agency or inter-disciplinary?     Discuss

* Any other issues concerning this chapter?     Discuss