Female Genital Mutilation: Torture or Rite of Passage

Anita H. Parker, Univ. of South Carolina , Spartanburg

Female Genital Mutilation is a procedure that effects approximately 2 million girls and women a year in over 30 countries. It is an invasive procedure with painful and lifelong physical and psychological effects. Practitioners view it as a necessary, cultural rite of passage. Others view it as medically unnecessary torture that is detrimental to women's health. As knowledge of the procedure grows, more people seek to bring an end to the practice. Laws have been passed against the procedure, doctors have been trained to treat victims, and educational policies have been created, all with the goal to reduce and hopefully end the practice, while maintaining respect for cultural beliefs and practices.

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Updated 05/20/2006