FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
AND ITS ETHICAL ISSUES
A Research Paper Presented to
Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges
General Santos City
In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements
For Philo 3
Vinna P. Boholst
Glicen Lou L. Monton
Patrick L. Villas
Table of Contents
Statement of the Problem2
Scope and Limitation of the Study3
Definition of Terms3
IIREVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE6
Cultural Justification of Female Genital Mutilation6
Ethical Issues in Female Genital Mutilation6
Female Genital Mutilation – What it is and
Why it Still Continues9
How Widely it is Practiced9
Why the Practice Continues10
Female Genital Mutilation is a Violation of Human Rights14
International and Regional Sources of Human Rights15
Human Rights violated by Female Genital Mutilation16
The Rights of the Child17
IIIFINDINGS AND INTERPRETATION19
What Female Genital Mutilation is19
Why Female Genital Mutilation is Controversial19
Why Female Genital Mutilation is Unethical21
IVCONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION22
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM) is practiced in so many countries in Africa and Asia. FGM is a deeply rooted social and cultural requirement for girls before marriage. Supporters of the practice rely on religion and tradition to defend their belief. Nowadays it is considered as an important problem, from both public health and ethical aspects in the countries where it still exists. It violates the essential principles of medical ethics and human rights. The main ethical drawback of FGM is that; it is a senseless practice which provides no direct benefit to girls on whom it is performed. It also inflicts undue harm on the little girls (who are primarily the victims). It is performed without consent. So the essential principles of medial ethics are violated. Undefined medical indications for FGM and possible risks to females make it ethically unacceptable.
The term Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) applies to any procedure involving the removal of all or part of the vulva and/or clitoris. It exists and is practiced in so many countries in North and Sub-Saharan Africa including the Sudan. The most frequent type of FGM that occurs throughout Africa involves the removal of the entire clitoris, usually with the labia minora, and in some instances, the labia majora.
The justification for FGM appears to be grounded in the social desire in terminating or reducing feelings of sexual arousal in women so that they will be much less likely to engage in pre-marital sexual relationship or adultery. Nevertheless, it is now considered a major social health problem in the countries where it is practiced. Between 100 and 140million girls and women in the world are estimated to have undergone such procedures, and 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of undergoing the procedures every year. Female genital mutilation has been reported 2
to occur in all parts of the world but it is most prevalent in: the western, eastern and north-eastern regions of Africa, some countries in Asia and the Middle East and among certain immigrant communities in North America and Europe. It also become of public health concern in North America and west Europe due to emigration from countries where it is still practiced. It is not surprising to notice that FGM seen in some emigrants was not performed in their country. Evidence shows that the practice was introduced to new countries. It has, arguably gained most attention among the governments, religious leaders, health professionals, individuals,...
...FemaleGenitalMutilation – Violating Women’s Rights and Bodies
FemaleGenitalMutilation is often abbreviated “FGM” and is also known as FemaleGenital Cutting (FGC) or Female Circumcision. According to the World Health Organization, there are 4 major types of practices. The most common one is the Clitoridectomy, a partial or total removal of the clitoris. The Excision is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora and/or the labia majora, the inner and outer lips that surround the vagina. Another practice is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting, repositioning and stitching the labia and is called Infibulation. The last type includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area (WHO, 2013).
Procedures are usually carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women before they give birth to their first child, get married, or after becoming a widow. About 140 million girls and women have undergone FGM worldwide and more than 3 million female infants and children are at risk for this procedure annually (WHO, 2013). Female...
...Also called female circumcision, FGC is defined as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the femalegenital organs whether or not for non-medical reasons” (UNAIDS et al., 2008, p. 1).
Some advocates for FGC eradication refer to the procedure as femalegenitalmutilation because of the extent of damage it can cause to a woman’s reproductive organs.
There four classifications of FGC that have been established by international agencies.
Classification of Types of FGC
Type I: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or prepuce (clitoridectomy).
Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision).
Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and positioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation).
Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, and cauterization. (UNAIDS et al., 2008.)
Many people consider FGC a violation of human rights because it is performed on girls and young women who are not yet adults and so are unable to make informed decisions for themselves. Many also see it as an act of gender-based violence because...
...FEMALE CIRCUMCISION AND KENYAN LAW: A CASE STUDY Michael A. Stanfield Bioethics Program Iowa State University
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction Introductory Materials Activity Activity Schedule Interest Groups Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) Resource 1: FemaleGenitalMutilation in Kenya Resource 2: Alternative Rite to Female Circumcision Resource 3: Girls Flee Circumcision in Kenya Kenyan Government Representatives Resource 1: FemaleGenitalMutilation Cases Rise Resource 2: Minister Wants Tougher Anti-FGM Action Resource 3: Alarm over FGM in Private Clinics Resource 4: Murugi Proposes Life Term for FGM Culprits African Women are Free to Choose (AWA-FC) Resource 1: Statement by AWA-FC Individuals Opposed to Criminalization Resource 1: Excerpts from Female Circumcision: The Interplay Of Religion, Culture, and Gendeer in Kenya by Mary Wangila Resource 2: Kenya Shock at Mutilation Death Resource 3: FemaleGenital Cutting Among the Somali of Kenya and Management of its Complications Resource 4: Razor's Edge – The Controversy of FemaleGenitalMutilation Background Information Resource 1: Terms Resource 2: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Resource 3: Act No.8 of 2001 – Children Act, Kenya Conclusion Discussion or Essay Questions for Students 2 3 3 4 6...
...even protected from barbaric, evil tradition; “FemaleGenitalMutilation” (hereinafter referred to as ‘FGM’).
Bearing in mind that there are around 130 million women worldwide affected by FGM (Amnesty International est.) and recognizing hundreds and thousands of girls still going through this indescribably painful act; I would like to contemplate over various issues dealt in FGM. Moreover, I will also look through a violation of the rights of the child as FGM is nearly always carried out on minors, and what actions is there that international society can practice.
Ⅱ. ELIMINATING FEMALEGENITALMUTILATION: THE IMPERATIVE
“FemaleMutilation has no cultural, no traditional and no religious aspect. It is a man-made crime which seeks justice.”
- Waris Dirie
An interagency statement
OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO,
UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO
The term "femalegenitalmutilation" (also called "femalegenital cutting" and "femalegenitalmutilation/cutting") refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the...
...FemaleGenitalMutilationFemaleGenitalMutilation is believed to have started in Egypt 2,000 years ago and spread from there. Only a few years ago, FGM was considered a cultural tradition, but now the United Nations has labeled it as a violation of human rights. Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States has declared FemaleGenitalMutilation grounds for seeking asylum and is a punishable offense (1).
Many of us never heard of FemaleGenitalMutilation until the story of Kauziya Kasinga, a woman from West Africa. Her father did not believe in polygamy, forced marriage, or "female circumcision". He died when she was 17 and the father's sister inherited the home, banished the mother, ended Fauziya's schooling, and arranged a marriage as a fourth wife to a man she had never met. The aunt scheduled her for the circumcision and she ran with 3,000 dollars that one of her aunts had saved.
What is female circumcision? The femalegenitalmutilation term covers three main varieties of genitalmutilation (2). There is the "sunna circumcision"; this consists of removal of the prepuce and/or the tip of the clitoris. Ironically, sunna in Arabic means "tradition". This is done because it is...
...OF FEMALEGENITAL `MUTILATION:
THE TENSION BETWEEN
CULTURAL RELATIVISM AND UNIVERSALISM
Dianne Camille T. Corales
University of the Philippines Mindanao
Department of Social Sciences, BA Anthropology
Over the past years, the practice of FemaleGenitalMutilation has received an increasing
global attention and mass condemnation from the West in general along with the Feminists and
Human Rights Advocates. According to the statistics of UNICEF in 2013, FemaleGenitalMutilation is known to be prevalent in 27 African countries, Yemen and Iraqi Kurdistan, where
125 million women and girls have experienced the practice of FemaleGenitalMutilation.
Women and girls who have experienced the removal of their external genitalia have suffered it's
consequences which includes: severe pain, bleeding, shock, difficulty in passing urine,
difficulties in labour, decreased and post-traumatic stress disorder, infections and sometimes
even death (WHO,2014).
The issue on FemaleGenitalMutilation created a moral dilemma creating intellectual
debates between the side of the Cultural Relativists and Universalists. In the side of Relativists,
states that there is a need for respect for all the customs, practices and beliefs in every culture...
International Law |
Zainab Feroz Khan
1017161BSSS VI-A |
Table of Contents
Procedures of FemaleGenitalMutilation 3
Review of Literature 5
Types of FemaleGenitalMutilations 8
Prevalence of FemaleGenitalMutilation 10
Harmful Consequences of FemaleGenitalMutilation 11
Physical Complications of FGM 12
Psychological Complications of FGM 14
FemaleGenitalMutilation as Violation of Human Rights 16
International Conventions and Declarations related to FGM 17
Social Context of FGM 18
Ethical Implications 20
‘Destructive Operation’ is the term, which has been given to FemaleGenitalMutilation, a barbaric practice that occurs even to this day in different parts of the world. Before the coining of the word ‘femalegenitalmutilation’, it was known as female circumcision. During this operation, the goal is to inhibit a woman’s sexual feelings done through partly or entirely removing the femalegenitals. This is often performed before...
...The Effects of FemaleGenitalMutilation
Circumcision or removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, either partial or total, is known as femalegenitalmutilation (FGM). This practice takes place in many countries, worldwide, the majority of these countries being in Sub-Saharan Africa and also in other regions such as the Middle East, Asia, Australia, North America and even Europe (Donohoe, 2006). The procedure is done for various reasons in different forms and fashions; firstly, there is the clitoridectomy, the removal of the clitoris or very rarely, only the clitoral hood. Secondly, the removal of the clitoris as well as the excision of the labia minora. Next, there is the process of infibulation. This is the narrowing of the vaginal opening by cutting and repositioning the labia and using it as a seal while also removing the clitoris. Lastly, there are other types of mutilation such as pricking, piercing, incising and scraping the genital area (Billingn, Kentenich, 2001). These methods are used for various reasons such as, traditional, religious and even for cleanliness and preservation of virginity (Reymond, 2001). The main purpose of FGM is usually to mark the transition from childhood to womanhood. The function of this practice, whether mild or severe, is generally to lessen the sexual desire of a woman, and so ensure...