More than 200 million girls and women in the whole world carry the mark and pain of having suffered some form of genital mutilation, which transforms their lives forever.
Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti head the list of those countries that have the highest prevalence in adolescents over 15 years old to women of 49.
In fact, in 30 African nations, the Far East and Asia female genital mutilation is reported with an alarming frequency.
According to WHO (World Health Organisation), in almost all countries the majority of people think that female genital mutilation must stop.
The origins of this practice are quite unclear, in some places in Africa it is carried out as a type of initiation ritual into adulthood.
It also corresponds to macho cultural models that see the female as impure and damaged, according to various experts.
Others associate female circumcision with a cult or religious belief, but no religion backs up this action and mutilation is common in countries that have majority Christians, Jews, Muslims or animistic religious beliefs.
Even today, the fear of rejection in some communities and the search for social approval has permitted that this inhumane practice, that damages health, is still in force.
The UN has warned that for generations, this traditional procedure has caused women to have many afflictions and face big risks, including death,
This practice is so dangerous that it constitutes a form of extreme discrimination towards women and children, it violates their right to health, safety and to not suffer cruel treatment, neither inhumane or degrading and it impedes them in making decisions about their own physical and sexual integrity.
Genital mutilation, which is generally carried out on girls and adolescents can cause severe bleeding and serious problems such as cysts, infections, infertility and complications in childbirth, such as a rise in a risk of death in newborns.
It can also produce severe haemorrhages, urinary disorders, and lesions in the organs and the anatomical structures in that area like the urethra, the vagina, the perineum or the anus. In some cases, it has even caused fractures.
These procedures, which don’t bring any type of health benefit, in the majority of occasions are carried out in infancy, UN statistics indicate that those 14 years old or younger represent 44 million of those who have been injured with the majority in Gambia, Mauritania and Indonesia.
The general secretary of the UN, António Guterres has warned of the terrible lacerations that the practice leaves and he has called for this problem to be solved as quickly as possible,
He has said that there is no time to lose and he has demanded more effort into ending female genital mutilation, which he calls “a serious violation of millions of women and girls’ human rights.”
For Guterres some advances have been made, but there is a lack of political participation sufficient to prevent 68 million girls being put through this procedure by 2030.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA, it is estimated that the actual figure of 3.9 million mutilated girls each year will rise to 4.6 million by 2030, unless there is an immediate mass joint effort to stop it. (PL)
(Traducido por Carol Byrne – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay