England passes new law regarding female genital mutilation and now forces doctors and professors to signal such a case immediately to the authorities, when and if they come across one.
Female genital mutilation is one, if not the most shocking cultural practice in the world. It is also called female circumcision and is practiced within the Muslim culture and in some parts of Africa. The procedure requires that all external genital parts of a female be removed, by cutting them. This is not done for a medical reason, but rather as a cultural practice.
Female genital mutilation also includes sewing up the vagina with actual needle and thread, in some African parts, and only gauging a small hole with a match or a stick for the urine and menstrual blood to be released. The vagina will be cut open partially for sexual intercourse and then cut open totally again for child birth.
Some cultures take it to the extreme. Women are said to have been cut open on their wedding night by their husbands and then sewn back if the spouse goes away from home for a longer period of time. The reason behind the cutting of the clitoris and labia is the belief that a woman should feel absolutely no pleasure when engaging in sexual intercourse. The sewing represents the only way for a man to be completely sure his bride is a virgin when he is to marry her. He will proceed to literally cut her open himself on their wedding night.
And now England is trying to solve the problem to some extent and has passed a law that asks professors and doctors to report a case of FGM if they come across it. The law will take effect on Saturday and it will concern girls under the age of 18.
The goal is to try and reduce the FGM phenomenon as much as possible because all civilized countries see it as child abuse and injustice towards women.
However, there are some charities specialized in helping such girls from Africa which have said that this will not be enough and that this law should walk hand in hand with prevention.
Also, they say this law might prevent girls from seeking medical treatment. The girls might be afraid to be discovered as having been mutilated and reported to child services. The main counter-argument that has been brought to this, was the fact that girls and women from diaspora populations are less likely to seek medical help when pregnant or have other gynecological problems anyway.
Image Source: www.ibtimes.com