Female genital mutilation ban urged.
In April 1997, the UN announced that the UN Children's Fund, the World Health Organization, and the UN Population Fund have mounted a joint effort to create the crucial momentum to achieve elimination of female genital mutilation. Each year, 2 million girls undergo female genital mutilation, which involves partial or total excision of the external female genitalia usually by traditional practitioners wielding crude instruments. Female genital is a deeply-rooted traditional practice, which many communities believe is essential to initiate girls into womanhood. Other misconceptions include the notion that Islam requires such mutilation and that the practice increases fertility and the healthiness of offspring. The effects of female genital mutilation include pain, infection, urine retention, hemorrhage, death, sexual dysfunction, and psychological trauma.