On the International Day of Zero Tolerance against Female Genital Mutilation, the FGM Community of Practice shared videos from six committed activists, members of the CoP. The voices of these women resonated on Facebook and Twitter to speak out against and end this harmful practice.
On February 6th 2021, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, AIDOS launched the animated video “Dynamics of a social norm: Female Genital Mutilation”. It is part of a series of videos aiming to understand why communities continue to perpetrate FGM, under what circumstances this practice continues to exist.
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.