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    Together building a space for women. Female genital mutilation.

    International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]

    London, England, IPPF, [1992]. [8] p.

    African and Arab women have developed programs against female genital mutilation (FGM). The International Planned Parenthood Federation supports these women as they train, educate, and inform other women about the harmful effects of FGM. The three types of FGM are sunna (foreskin of the clitoris is cut), excision (removal of the entire clitoris and usually the labia minora), and pharaonic or infibulation (removal of the clitoris, labia minora and majora, and sewing together the two sides of the vulva, leaving a small opening for urine and menstrual blood to pass). In Arab countries, Sub-Saharan Africa, Malaysia, and Indonesia, girls from one week old to adolescence are subject to FGM. Female natives of these countries who have migrated to Europe, Australia, or the US are also subject to FGM. More than 100 million living females have suffered FGM. Reasons for FGM differ and are linked to religion, culture, health, and morality. None of the reasons are based in science, logic, or religion, however. Short term risks of FGM include severe hemorrhage, tetanus and other infections, septicemia, shock, or death. It is often the case that several people hold the girl down with legs apart while an untrained traditional birth attendant or old woman performs FGM under unhygienic conditions, during which they use no anesthesia and unsterile instruments (e.g., broken glass). Chronic pelvic urinary tract infections, difficult intercourse, infertility, pregnancy loss, complications during delivery, and psychological and/or psychosexual problems are common long-term effects. Rapid economic growth, universal education, and global cultural changes have affected attitudes against FGM and efforts to rid the world of FGM. The World Health Organization released a statement condemning the practice of FGM by any health provider. Heads of State of Benin, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Kenya, Mali, and Senegal have issued statements against FGM.
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