The very existence of the law produces effects that go beyond the mere application of sanctions and the prosecution of those practising FGM. It serves as a deterrent and therefore protects girls at risk of undergoing FGM both from the practice itself and - in some cases - from the stigma associated with not being excised.
Maryam Sheikh shared her personal experience to highlight the dilemma faced by parents who want to both protect their daughters from FGC and to ensure their belonging and integration into the community. In addition, the girls themselves may ask to undergo FGM in order to be like other girls in their community.
It is essential to deconstruct these religious beliefs as they are one of the main reasons why communities perpetuate the practice of female genital mutilation (Mahmoodi O., 2016). To this end, the position taken by religious figures seems to be an essential step towards disarticulating the false links between FGM and religious obligation, as in the case of the Muslim scholars of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomar, Ayatollah Fadlallah, Muhammed Salim AAwwa, Secretary General of the International Federation of Islamic Scholars, etc...
It is important to look at the link between religion and FGM because while several reasons are given by communities practicing FGM, such as respect for tradition, control of female sexuality, eligibility for marriage, religion is often one of the first answers given.
Female genital mutilation is sometimes wrongly considered a "Muslim practice", including by the general public in non-practicing communities. Nevertheless, FGM, although practised by some Muslim communities, is also common in Christian or animist communities.
FGM is practiced in various regions of the world: Africa (e.g. Egypt, Mali, Guinea) but also Asia (e.g. Indonesia, Malaysia), the Middle East (e.g. Iraq, Iran), Latin America (Colombia, Peru), Europe. They are practiced by various communities, religious or not.
To be able to combat the increasing medicalization of FGM, it is first necessary to understand why health personnel agree to perform such an act ...
There was widespread discussion amongst our members on the issue of genital plastic surgery which is freely available to adult women and which is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and North America. While some see it in an entirely different light from female genital mutilation, others argue that social pressure and the desire to conform to social norms of beauty affect the free and informed consent of women who undergo it.
Nigeria lacks media engagement on FGM and journalists have little interest in the subject, resulting in few opportunities for affected girls and women to testify in the media and low budgets allocated to covering the issue.
Various arguments are put forward by detractors of medicalisation of FGM, practice against which the opposition is almost unanimous as we can see it through the statements of various international organisations and institutions showing a common condemnation of the medicalisation of FGM. The following organisations and institutions are opposed to any form of medicalisation of FGM: