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….
Continue reading “Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: Introduction”
Any serious look at the realities of female genital mutilation in modern Britain cannot be complete without an attempt at sociological analysis in parallel with empirical description and policy discussion.
FGM is a social and economic force as well as a fundamental issue around human rights and the imperative on us all to keep the most vulnerable and smallest members of our society safe.
It is important to consider how sociological and economic analysis can contribute to understandings of what FGM means in a modern, historically fully established Western society such as, but not exclusively, the nations of Europe, North America and Australia.
Sociology throws light on how FGM sits in the social order, and what its impacts for that order might be, overall and directly for those who experience it (whether at first hand or in other ways). Economics helps in considering the implications of FGM for the economies of communities and societies in which it is found.
Continue reading “Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation Chapter 2: Socio-economic Analysis”
There are various participants in the journey to end female genital mutilation in the UK. Most, but certainly not all, would align with the declared, socially progressive assumptions of this text. All except the most radical apologist or traditionalist seek somehow to eradicate FGM. The commonality of aim but discrepancies of perspective do, however, come into sharp relief when issues of politics, media and culture are considered.
Continue reading “Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation Chapter 11: UK Politics and the Media”