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Female Genital Mutilation - FGM

The Female Genital Mutilation, also known as FGM, includes all interventions involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons" . (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, 1997)


The joint WHO / UNICEF / UNFPA classifies FGM into 4 types:ClassificationFGM Type I: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or prepuce. (Cliredectomia)FGM Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.FGM type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting or opposition of the labia minora and/or labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris. (Infibulation).FGM Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. For example, punch, poke, drilling, cutting, cutting, scraping and cauterization.


WHO estimates that, worldwide, between 100 and 140 million girls and women have been subjected to one of three types of genital mutilation. (WHO, 2000). More recent data indicate that in Africa, 91.5 million girls and women over nine years, currently suffer the consequences of mutilation. An estimated three million girls are at risk of genital mutilation each year in Africa.


Genital mutilation is associated with a number of risks and health consequences. Almost all of the women subjected to the practice experience pain and bleeding. Other consequences are also observed in the long term, such as chronic pain, birth complications, complete loss or decreased sexual pleasure and psychological consequences such as post-traumatic stress.


Genital mutilation is practiced in twenty-eight African countries, Asia and the Middle East. Because of the migration, it can be found the practice in Europe and the United States. In most cases, the mutilation takes place in a traditional ritual and rites of passage, and will gain different names in each country. For example, Kakia, in Togo, Sunna, in Sudan, Fanado in Guinea-Bissau. Once implemented mutilation is irreversible. If the victim survives she will suffer physical and psychological consequences.

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