Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation Chapter 5: Clinical Issues

Female genital mutilation, especially in its more extensive forms, is permanently scarring both physically and mentally. Its impacts are lifelong and often severe.

Sometimes FGM is fatal. Its victims do not always become ‘survivors’ in any sense of the word.

Some girls or women who undergo mutilation die in the immediate and short-term aftermath of the abuse, and later on more will die as a result of difficulties in childbirth or because of long-term conditions including fistula. Babies born to women with FGM are also at risk and sometimes die because of the obstetric complications it can cause.

The United Nations, the World Health Organization and many other international and professional bodies1 are unanimous in asserting there is no positive benefit to FGM. They insist unequivocally that it must never be promoted or conducted as a medical procedure – which happens for instance in Kenya, Indonesia, Egypt and Malaysia, and which routinely puts the lives and well-being of those who undergo it at risk.

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Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation Chapter 11: UK Politics and the Media

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.

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