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
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