Female Genital Mutilation: A Human Rights Perspective

Journal of Psychology in Africa. 2009, 19(1):55-61

Female genital mutilation: a human rights perspective

Odeku K, Rembe S & Anwo J


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) constitutes all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or non-therapeutic reasons. The practice remains an extremely complex and culturally sensitive. It involves a broad spectrum of issues such as child health and human rights standards. FGM constitutes an unacceptable violation of the rights of the girl child and adult women to their natural sexuality. International human rights covenants underscore the obligations of the United Nations member States to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights, including the rights to non-discrimination, life and physical and mental integrity. Despite the outlawing of the practice in many countries, it is still prevalent in Africa. Various human rights instruments have the potentials to prevent, stop and eliminate the practice by holding perpetrators responsible and accountable.

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