Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or otherwise known as female circumcision is the act of cutting away the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, but with beliefs that it will keep the girls pure, "sexually chaste," and loyal to their husbands. The Population Reference Bureau is releasing the first data on female circumcision for the U.S. in a decade to bring more attention to the United Nations International Day of Zero Tolerance - taking place today, and meant to educate and draw awareness to the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation. The PRB counts nearly 513,000 women living with FGM in the United States today. The catch? Female Genital Mutilation is not occurring among what we may refer to as U.S native women. Instead, African immigrants from Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt are participating in the procedure. Some are shipping their daughters back over to their homelands, where doctors or midwives are performing the procedures, and operation known as "vacation cutting." In other situations, the families are having the doctors and midwives sent here. Preventative measures are being taken, the first with the illegality of FGM in the U.S since 1996, but it wasn't until 2012, when Democratic Representative Joe Crowley aided in making an amendment, to shut down the loophole of "vacation cutting."
Female Genital Mutilation needs to be addressed on an international level. The women who are forced to experience this procedure face a life of complications. After this procedure, urination and menstruation often occur from the same orifice, making both very painful and often causing multiple infections. Childbirth for these women is often life threatening for both the woman and child, often causing hemorrhaging for the woman, and a birth canal much to small for the child to pass through. In the United States, these issues can be addressed because of our advanced medical technology. Contrarily, in the countries where FGM is most prevalent, these complications may often result in death for both mother and child, because the technology isn't available to serve them with proper treatment. The eradication of this procedure will be hard to come by, considering it is valued in these communities, for the women to be "pure" and "sexually chaste," asking people to change their beliefs will not be easy. I believe this approach will have to be taken as the article said, and work on the people's conviction's in the communities. It's all about educating them, and teaching them that this procedure is harmful; it doesn't reap the benefits that they so strongly think it does.