Monday, April 06, 2015

Blog #7: Thailand Authorities ignore FGM

Although the World Health Organization has banned the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), it is still being practiced in a few southern provinces in Thailand. Thailand is a predominately Buddhist country but in the southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, the majority of people are practicing Malay Muslims. In Southern Thailand, the current conflict makes it hard for women to access health care, FGM isn’t on the healthcare agenda but the majority of female Muslim babies born are cut. There are no laws against it because it is a cultural practice and health authorities turn their head about the subject. Type IV FGM is practiced in Thailand and the WHO says there are no known health benefits from it, although it violates the rights of children and women. A study in 2011 showed that the bordering country of Malaysia has 93% of their Muslim women cut. The highest religious authority did not issue a rule for all Muslim women to be cut until 2009. To reduce the prevalence of FGM in Malaysia, the fatwa(religious ruling) does not specify which procedure should be done so it allows them to do the procedure in a non-invasive and non-harmful way. A doctor and director of the Global Women’s Health Centre at Harvard Medical School doesn’t believe that there is a “right technique” when it comes to FGM. There are many short-term and long-term consequences even from type IV FGM. The practice is not talked about in Southern Thailand and most women don’t know they are cut until they read about it when they are adults.

I have been really drawn to the topic of FGM since starting this class and researching world news topics. I didn't know it was such a prevalent topic today in 2015 and it's something that should be talked about more then it is. I previously did a similar blog about females going under FGM when they were "of age", in these Southern Thailand provinces it is done when they are baby. These babies are completely unaware of what is happening to them and have no say on what is done to their bodies. They have to learn on their on accord when they are an adult about what was done to them because it is never talked about. 

Ashley Casmirri

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