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Women’s Health—What’s New Worldwide: An Update on WHO’s Work on Female Genital Mutilation

Citation

Kirtley, Shona & Thorp, John M., Jr. (2011). Women’s Health—What’s New Worldwide: An Update on WHO’s Work on Female Genital Mutilation. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 118(12), 1546-1548.

Abstract

This progress report from the World Health Organization (WHO) provides an overview of the prevalence, human rights implications, health risks, persistence and the increasing medicalisation of female genital mutilation (FGM) and presents the findings of the latest WHO FGM studies from Burkina Faso, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Sudan. The report also comprises a comprehensive account of the work that the WHO has been participating in to reduce the practice of FGM. The report states that every year around 3 million girls around the world are at risk of being subjected to this traditional practice and that FGM is still practised in 28 African countries and some countries in Asia and the Middle East. Figures show that in some countries the practice of FGM is declining—however, some studies also indicate that the average age at which girls are subjected to this operation is lowering and that there is an increase in the number of parents seeking this procedure from health professionals. The report calls for programmes aimed at reducing the practise of FGM to be stepped up, particularly around three key action areas: social, legal and political commitment. The action areas identified by the WHO clearly delineate that FGM is a cultural and religious phenomenon that women’s health clinicians can treat the sequelae of, but that only shifts in the social standing of women can reduce this practice and its subsequent harms.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2011.03182.x

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2011

Journal Title

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Author(s)

Kirtley, Shona
Thorp, John M., Jr.