The following film was released by The Population Council in conjunction with the International Day Of Zero Tolerance To Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th.
–Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is the cutting, removal, and sometimes sewing up of external female genitalia for cultural or other nontherapeutic reasons. It can be performed as early as infancy and as late as age 30.
–Most women (80 percent) who undergo this procedure have most or all of their clitoris removed and some or all of the labia minora cut off as well.
–Another 15 percent of women undergo infibulation, the removal of part or all of the external genitalia and the stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening.
–An estimated 100 million to 140 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and more than 3 million girls are at risk for cutting each year on the African continent alone.
–Practitioners of FGM/C range from traditional healers who use crude instruments without anesthetics to trained providers in health care facilities.
–Health consequences differ according to the type and severity of the procedure performed.
Short-term difficulties include severe pain, shock, hemorrhage, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region, and injury to adjacent tissue. Hemorrhage and infection can cause death.
–Long-term consequences include psychological trauma, a feeling of incompleteness, and anxiety and depression; difficulties during childbirth; cysts and abscesses; keloid scar formation; damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence; painful sexual intercourse; and sexual dysfunction.