What is Female Genital Mutilation?
Female Genital Mutilation (often referred to as FGM) is a destructive operation, during which the female genitals are partly or entirely removed or injured with the goals of inhibiting a woman’s sexual feelings. Most often the mutilation is performed before puberty, often on girls between the age of four and eight, but recently it is increasingly performed on nurslings who are only a couple of days, weeks or months old.
Where does FGM happen?
Female Genital Mutilation happens primarily in Africa, in particular in North-Eastern, Eastern and Western Africa. However, it also takes place in the Middle East, in South-East Asia – and also among immigrants in Europe, America and Australia. According to estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) 150 million women are affected by FGM world-wide. In Europe, the number of mutilated women or girls and women threatened by FGM amounts up to 500,000.
This horrible tradition is still practiced in many countries around the world today – by both by Moslems and Christians. According to records kept by the United Nations more than 8,000 girls become victims of this heinous crime EVERY DAY.
The Desert Flower Foundation seeks to end this crime by raising public awareness, creating networks, organising events and educational programmes. For more information about FGM and how you can make a different and put an end to FGM, visit http://www.desertflowerfoundation.org.