Female Genital Mutilation By Yuliya Female genital mutilation is the process of removing a womans clitoris, and further sewing up their genitalia until they have been rendered, essentially, deprived of their sexuality. In most severe instances, the entire female genitalia system is completely removed, leading to infection, bleeding or problems with future childbirth (Amnesty.org, 2006). This practice still occurs, today, heavily in Muslim regions of the world, particularly noticeable in Sudan. In this African country, Muslim men believe that their religious deity has chosen women to participate in this practice, keeping them from being anything but a devoted, Muslim wife. In fact, many men in Sudan will refuse to marry a woman who has not undergone the mutilation procedures (Hosken, 2005). This practice is done, also, as a means of exerting male dominance over the female, which is often common in the Muslim communities of Africa and the Middle East. Outside of the physical effects of female genital mutilation, there are significant psychological outcomes of the practice, including diminished self-concept (self-esteem) and unhealthy submissive behaviors leading to poor notions of self-identity and equal rights. In cultures where men or governments actively inflict this harm on women, those who refuse the procedures are either killed or left without a husband who will refuse to marry her. In nations where male financial support is required due to lack of legislation allowing women to work independently, the psychological impact of refusing mutilation is one of abandonment. Some argue that such genital mutilation is done to satisfy strict religious doctrine, however there are other complaints that governments use this to avoid genocide, or the destruction of a countrys citizens in favor of using government food and money to support them. If governments use these mutilation procedures to stop women from having one child after another, it keeps populations under control. This is very much a human rights issue, as it seems that the United Nations, The World Health Organization, and Amnesty International are working very hard at raising awareness of the plight of women across the globe. Progressive and Westernized nations prohibit any form of violence against women, thus they are reinforcing these values to other nations. Kenya recently experienced a significant drop in female genital mutilation activities due to the overwhelming, positive response of these organizations to identify the long-term psychological and physical impact of the procedure to others (Amnesty.org, 2006). In a world where global trade initiatives and governmental assistance programs are making the world smaller and smaller, it is almost impossible to avoid issues of equality and human rights regardless of how large or small a country is. For instance, when the United Nations exerts pressure on a less-developed country to stop the ritual mutilation, because most wars are won in the court of public opinion, public outcry turns this from a foreign affair into a global human rights issue. Despite individual foreign beliefs and cultures, the global society is arguing that women have the same rights to their genitalia as any other global female. References:Amnesty.org. (2006). Facts and Figures Report 2006: The state of the worlds human rights. Amnesty International. Retrieved September 22, 2007 from http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGPOL100232006Amnesty.org. (2006). Kenya: 200 People Give Up Trade in Female Genital Mutilation. Amnesty International. Retrieved September 22, 2007 from http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAFR3211032004Kosken, Fran P. (2005). Sudan: Human Rights Abuses of Women Overlooked Despite International Attention. Off Our Backs. pp. 32-35.
Female circumcision (also referred to as female genital mutilation)