The UN declared February 6th of each year the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. An estimated 200 million girls and women, in practicing countries, have undergone a form of FGM/C.
What is FGM/C?
FGM/C or Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting is a form of circumcision that is performed on women, for cultural and traditional functions. The procedure has little to no medical or hygienic benefits. In fact, traditionally the cutting is done by an elder or respected woman, who has minimal medical experience. This can cause extreme complications for women throughout their lives.
The procedure is often done on young girls or teenagers, without their consent, anesthetic, or antiseptics. Not only does FGM/C cause long term physical complications but can also be an extremely psychologically traumatic experience.
PSOT has a range of clients that have escaped persecution in their home countries for a number of reasons. Through there is no data directly correlating asylum and FGM/C, clinicians have noticed an increase number of women and girls revealing that they feared FGM/C so left (among other reasons).
To read more about a study done by Dr. Akinsulure Smith click here.
Though FGM/C is performed in a number of countries around the world, it was noted that in this study the survivors were primarily from West Africa, specifically from Guinea. here was a 96% prevalence rate of FGM/C, which has one of the highest FGM/C rates in the world.
Though traditional practices are encouraged to be celebrated, ones that harm and provide little to no positive benefits are discouraged. The practice has been largely seen as a form of gender-based torture and should no longer be an obligation to young women.