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Presumably, there are religious and cultural factors for performing
Female Genital Mutilation. Before analysing those factors that might lead to such,
a brief definition and key information is necessary.

According to the World Health Organization, often
abbreviated to WHO, Female Genital Mutilation

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Modern literature does not prefer to make use of
the term Female Circumcision as it used to be. In the broadest sense, male and female
circumcision are both “cutting rituals” (Toubia & Izett, 1998, p. 3) without
any health benefits. However, female circumcision implies an equivalence to
male circumcision. When comparing both procedures, the procedure of male
circumci­sion contains removing the prepuce, whereas the procedure of female
circumcision con­tains amputating the vulva or parts of it. The physical damage
is irreversible due to invasiveness.

Excisors, perform the cutting ritual between the ages of four and
fourteen on female evolving from child to adult as a rite of passage (Toubia
& Izett, 1998). Geographically speaking, Africa has the highest prevalence
of modifying the vulva invasively. In 1989 the term Female Genital Mutilation,
often abbreviated to FGM, was supported and declared by the Inter-African
Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children
(Toubia & Izett, 1998). The change of the terminology has then been adapted
from any organisation that engages in human rights work ever since.

According to United Nations International
Children’s Emergency Fund, often abbreviated to UNICEF, the exact number of girls
and young female adults who have undergone FGM still remain unknown to this
date. Many cases of FGM remain unreported. In spite of dark figures, UNICEF illustrates
with its statistical overview published in 2013, that at least 200 million
girls and women who are alive right now have undergone FGM globally (UNICEF,
2013).

At the 6oth plenary meeting in late
2012, attendances of the General Assembly make a promise to “intensifying global efforts for the
elimination of female genital mutilations” (United Nations, 2013, n.p.). Topic
of discussion was FGM and its political developments throughout the decade. The
aim is to intensify all global efforts for a faster and more effective elimination
of FGM. Even though this form of mutilation gains more recognition by
classifying it as harmful, abusive and as a violation against human rights, threatening
with consequences have not always made an impact on families who believe in FGM
or practitioners who will be portrayed over the course of this paper later on.

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