Culture, advocacy, and sexual practices



Female genital mutilation (FGM) is complete partial removal female outer genitalia without any medical consideration. FGM is a practice that is commonly performed by traditional practitioners who mostly play other significant communal duties like child birth (Berg & Denison, 2012). In most occasions, healthcare professionals play the role of FGM practice because of erroneous belief that the procedure is safer when done in the medical field. However, world health organisations request healthcare professionals not to involve themselves in such proceedings.

For a long time, the practice of FGM has been considered as female human rights violation. This method stands for deep-rooted differences in sexes with extreme female discrimination. The practice is almost performed on minor and is a violation of their rights. Also, FGM practice is also considered to violate individual’s rights to security, health and physical integrity a process leads to other dangerous occasions such as death (Diop & Askew, 2009). The reason behind this is that FGM practice can result in critical bleeding and other challenges during urinating, and also bring about later cysts, infects and complications in childbirth. The purpose of this paper is to address the issue underlying the practice of FGM and how the practice should be eliminated. The paper also discusses various strategies that are put into place for the importance of dealing effectively with the FGM practice.

Addressing the issue of FGM practice

Families, communities as well as cultures whereby the practice of FGM is common, possess different reasons as to why they are practicing it. The aspect that motivates this practice is that the practice is believed to make sure that the girl works by the fundamental social norms including those associated with sexual restraint, maturity, respectability and femininity (Reyners, 2004).

Female Genital Mutilation has been considered an ancient practice performance that has gained increased attention because of various issues such as immigration running from it. As globally recognised as the female circumcision, this might be an illegal term to use when dealing with communities involved with this practice (Everett, 2016). Therefore, for the importance of offering culturally competent care, it’s necessary for clinicians to gain knowledge concerning the range of procedures taken into action, the potential dangers that might arise and the effective strategies significant for averting as well as addressing the clinical, ethical together with legal challenges.

FGM is grouped into four categories which include:

  • Part I: the partial or complete excavation of the prepuce also recognised as the clitoridectomy.
  • Part II: involves the partial of an overall elimination of the clitoris and the labia minora, also recognised as the excision.
  • Part III: this involves the cutting as well as positioning the labia minora or majority for the significance of creating a cover to restricts vaginal introitus also recognised as the infibulations.
  • Part IV: This type involves alterations on the genitals without tissue removal like piercing and cauterization practice.

Globally, FGM has been considered to have a significant influence to approximately 140 million females. Various studies have shown that about 3 million girls experience this practice risk every year. FGM has been a practice documented in 26 United States and other countries globally. Some of these regions include sub-Saharan Africa and in various parts of South Asia as well as in the Middle East. Nevertheless, prevalence rate change in every country, whereby some nations have high levels compared to others. FGM is mostly practiced as a ritual for womanhood passage, that is, ensuring chastity of an individual for marriage, value, honor, and aesthetics. FGM theoretically varies within societies. Often, girls go through FGM practices between 5 and 12 years of age (Yoder, Wang & Johansen, 2013). Nevertheless, some organisations perform FGM on newborn babies and very young girls before marriage. This practice is often done by professional circumcisers, birth attendants and traditional healers.

Sexual beliefs underlying the FGM Practice

As analysed by Costello (2015), FGM is a very comprehensive multifaceted performance that is deeply rooted in a strong cultural as well as social framework. The practice is majorly supported by various communities and other parents who believe that the practice is the best way of keeping their young daughters safe. They are various beliefs surrounding this practice, which sustain that, the process vary widely from one ethnic background to another despite there being different several common themes. Although there is a relationship between FGM and the women’s control, sexuality has often been considered; there has been an instance of several rigorous types of research investigating on the importance of performing FGM. The studies have come up with various beliefs that are considered to revolve around FGM practice. These ideas include:

  • Sexual control – FGM has been significantly related to sexual control in all studies. The clitoris is considered to be a site for the sexual urge. Therefore, it is believed cutting it would reduce the natural urge for sex experienced in women. This will, in turn, increase the women’s ability to keep their virginity until marriage and thus remain faithful until the time they will be free to get married.
  • Sexual pleasure – Most individuals do not recognize the idea that FGM reduces the women’s pleasure during sexual practices.  Nevertheless, there has been a growing concern within young generation mostly males that FGM practice possesses an adverse effect on them especially on their sexual pleasure. While in other countries, such as Egypt, it is not appropriate for women to demonstrate the desire for sex.
  • FGM is medically important – in various parts of the world especially in Egypt, there is a rising concern regarding the size of the clitoris, and is considered that most of the women require performing FGM to reduce their clitoris size. It is believed that a large clitoris stimulates the desire for sexual pleasure. Additionally, there is the belief that large clitoris becomes more infected with worms if not cut off and there this would affect the women’s health.

Present barriers in ceasing FGM practice

Ending the practice of FGM is not that easy. Several barriers hinder the practice to stop. One of the major factors that are leading to a slow reduction of FGM practice is the lack of weak linkage between the factors that directly affect the process of eradication and the major players within the society. The major bodies involved in this include local government as the first dominant decision maker, NGOs, family, people themselves, the informal institutions surrounding communities and the socio-economic institutions (Hall, 2016).

The failure in the coordination, as well as collaboration surrounding these bodies, could be observed as a failure in action. This accompanied with the miss allocation of resources together with the poor designing of suitable approaches that could not invite communities to possess their important contribution to the failure.

Strategies for eliminating FGM practice

Although there exists the fact that FGM brings about both pain and suffering to many females globally and threatens people’s life, the practice remains deeply entrenched in various social value systems. It is necessary to have a holistic approach with the programmes.. Therefore, from the various experiences carefully across the world, it is necessary to eradicate this practice (World Health Organization (2017).

In this case, both political will and action are indispensable. It is the role of governments in every country to engage and must put forward the significant human and material for the importance of ensuring that the FGM practice is brought to an end. To make sure this works, 6 February has been called Zero Tolerance to FGM (Barber, 2010). This that time, governments have put into place and highly considered this day, and most of them have been pleased to observe this day with all other stakeholders and potential partners in ensuring that FGM is completed eradicated.


Female genital mutilation involves all procedures involved in removing some parts of all the external female genitalia Although the practice was previously considered by various communities to have some benefits to the young women, the practice is considered t possess non-known health benefits. It is also recognised to possess critical issues to the girls and women in various methods. First of all, FGM practice is very painful and traumatic. This practice interferes with the natural functioning of the body and brings about many immediate as well as long-term health consequences. Therefore, the whole world has joined the effort to eliminate the practice. The reason behind this is that communities who practice this activity are considered to report various social and religious reasons for ending it. The practice is also a human right violation practice, and therefore it should be kept in its minimal state or eliminated altogether.

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  2. Berg, R. & Denison, E. (2012). The effectiveness of Interventions Designed to Prevent Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Systematic Review. Studies In Family Planning, 43(2), 135-146.
  3. Costello, S. (2015). Female genital mutilation/cutting: risk management and strategies for social workers and health care professionals. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 225.
  4. Diop, N. & Askew, I. (2009). The Effectiveness of a Community-based Education Program on Abandoning Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Senegal. Studies in Family Planning, 40(4), 307-318.
  5. Everett, S. (2016). Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 42(4), 300-300.
  6. Hall, S. (2016). Female Mutilation: The Truth Behind the Horrifying Global Practice of Female Genital MutilationBurrage Hilary Female Mutilation: The Truth Behind the Horrifying Global Practice of Female Genital Mutilation 240pp £14.99 New Holland Publishers 9781742576077 1742576079. Primary Health Care, 26(9), 15-15.
  7. Reyners, M. (2004). Health consequences of female genital mutilation. Reviews in Gynecological Practice, 4(4), 242-251.
  8. World Health Organization (2017). Female genital mutilation. Retrieved 5 January 2017, from
  9. Yoder, P., Wang, S., & Johansen, E. (2013). Estimates of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in 27 African Countries and Yemen. Studies in Family Planning, 44(2), 189-204.
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