Opposition to medicalisation

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:

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Harmful practices in MENA region (member’s contribution)
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Harmful practices in MENA region (member’s contribution)

Isma Benboulerbah, Project Officer at the European Network END FGM, shared her knowledge of procedures aimed at modifying women's genitalia and controlling their sexuality in the MENA region, focusing mainly on Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

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Aesthetical genital surgeries and procedures
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Aesthetical genital surgeries and procedures

Aesthetic or cosmetic genital surgeries and procedures include a wide variety of practices performed for aesthetic or sexual reasons, including labioplasty (inner labia surgery), labia majora enlargement or reduction, genital whitening, G spot injections, hymenoplasty (hymen reconstruction), laser vaginal rejuvenation, clitoral hood reduction, etc.

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Labia elongation (not included in WHO’s classification)
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Labia elongation (not included in WHO’s classification)

The "labia minora" (inner lips) are the thin lips or folds of skin on either side of the vulva. Their size varies greatly from woman to woman, so there is no "normal" labial length. Nevertheless, cultural differences exist in terms of aesthetic and sexual preferences for small or long lips.

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Other forms of Type IV FGM
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Other forms of Type IV FGM

Type IV FGM includes a range of procedures performed on the female genitalia that do not fall under the first three types (partial or total removal of the clitoral gland, excision of the labia minora or labia majora, and infibulation). The definition of type IV has been modified in the new typology, published in 2007. It is now less detailed than the previous one (1995). Practices such as the introduction of corrosive substances and herbs into the vagina, and stretching of the labia have been removed.

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Cutting in the vaginal opening to “remove warts” (southieute) in Senegal
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Cutting in the vaginal opening to “remove warts” (southieute) in Senegal

An exploratory study by Senegalese sociologist Fatou Kebe is currently examining a practice of cutting women's vaginal openings, justified by the "removal of warts" (Southieute in Wolof). According to Kebe, this practice is common in the Wolof community in Senegal but is also practiced by the Soces in Dakar.

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Vaginal incisions, scraping, hymenotomies Niger & Nigeria
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Vaginal incisions, scraping, hymenotomies Niger & Nigeria

Hymenotomies are incisions made to the hymen. In some communities, they are performed on girls for non-medical reasons. The practice should not be confused with hymenotomies performed surgically as treatment for women or girls with an unperforated hymen causing abdominal pain.

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