Cameroon this 6th February 2019, has join the international community to observe the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, a practice which has far-reaching negative consequences.
Going by WHO, Female Genital Mutilation, FGM “comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.”
There are four types / forms of FGM according to http://www.endfgm.eu :
1. Clitoridectomy: It consists of partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or its prepuce.
2. Excision: This is when the clitoris and labia minora are partially or totally removed, with or without excision of the labia majora.
3. Infibulation or pharaonic: This is the most severe form of FGM. The procedure consists of narrowing the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or labia majora, with or without removal of the clitoris. The appositioning of the wound edges consists of stitching or holding the cut areas together for a certain period of time (for example, girls’ legs are bound together), to create the covering seal. A small opening is then left for urine and menstrual blood. An infibulation must be opened either through penetrative sexual intercourse or surgery.
4. The fourth type of FGM consists of all the other procedures done to the genitalia of women for non-medical purposes, such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.