Women’s Health (Lond Engl), 3(4): 475-485 , DOI 10.2217/17455057.3.4.475
Genital mutilation of girls
Almroth L, Elmusharaf S
Female genital mutilation is a traditional practice affecting girls when their genitals are cut for social, cultural or other non-medical reasons. It is estimated that 3 million girls undergo the procedure every year, mainly in areas in Africa and Asia where it is traditionally practised, but owing to migration patterns, girls living in other parts of the world are also at risk. This article describes the practice of female genital mutilation in a changing world and outlines some aspects in relation to female genital mutilation in girls and women that health staff, teachers, social workers and others should pay attention to. Knowledge regarding complications is important for healthcare, but when complications have been used as arguments against the practice this has had limited effect. Information regarding health risks has to be integrated into culturally sensitive approaches based on human rights and improving the situation for girls and women in order to reach a point where genital mutilation of girls will be generally abandoned.