FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Health)

News-CRUX-10     21st August 2023        

Context: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons, is the leading cause of death among girls and young women in parts of Africa annually.

  • Globally, over 200 million women and girls have been subjected to FGM. 
  • The practice often takes place in unsanitary conditions and without clinical supervision.
  • It leads to severe pain, bleeding, and infection. Long-term impacts include obstetric complications, reductions in sexual function, and other physical as well as mental health problems.
  • FGM still remains legal in five of the 28 countries where it is most practiced - Mali, Malawi, Chad, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Female Genital Mutilation

    • It is the name given to procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical or cultural reasons, and is recognised internationally as a violation of human rights and the health and integrity of girls and women.
  • WHO classifies four types of FGM:
    • type 1 (partial or total removal of the clitoral glans).
    • type 2 (partial or total removal of the external and visible parts of the clitoris and the inner folds of the vulva).
    • type 3 (infibulation, or narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal).
    • type 4 (picking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterising the genital area).
  • Every year, February 6 is observed as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).