Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is recognized internationally as a human rights violation, a form of gender-based violence, and an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls.

FGM is practiced in various parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and it has no health benefits. In fact, it can cause severe physical and psychological harm, including chronic pain, infections, increased risk of childbirth complications, and even death. Long-term effects may include menstrual problems, sexual difficulties, and infertility.

The reasons for FGM are deeply rooted in cultural, religious, and social factors within families and communities. It is often seen as a rite of passage, a prerequisite for marriage, or a way to control women’s sexuality. However, there is no religious scripture that mandates FGM.

Efforts to combat FGM involve legal frameworks, community education, and support for affected women. International organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and various NGOs are actively working to end this practice through advocacy, education, and providing medical and psychological support to survivors.

Ending FGM requires a multifaceted approach, involving legal action, community engagement, and widespread education to challenge and change the deeply entrenched cultural norms that sustain the practice.