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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-28-00

Girls In Britain Endangered By Female Genital Mutilation

More than 3,000 young girls may be mutilated each year in Britain according to findings released by researchers. Although the destructive practice is outlawed in the country a loophole in the law does not restrict families from sending young girls abroad for genital circumcision/mutilation during which young girls undergo the painful sewing of their vagina and or removal of the clitoris. The World Health Organization reports that two million women and girls face genital mutilation annually. Research findings indicate between 85 and 115 million women and girls worldwide have undergone the practice, all of whom face possible health risks in the form of death from excessive bleeding, infection or complications during childbirth as scar tissue may block the birth canal.

Female genital mutilation continues among many countries of the world including those in Africa. Its acceptation among the populace is due to cultural myths surrounding the practice that view it as a mark of chastity, a rite of passage into womanhood, and a link to increased fertility.

Media Resources: The Observer 25 September 2000, Feminist Majority Global News Wire 18 August 2000


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