In Africa nearly 92 million adolescent girls, 10-years-old and above, underwent female genital mutilation. For many young girls female genital mutilation leads to prolonged bleeding, infections, infertility and even death. UNICEF describes female genital mutilation as "one of the worst violations of the convention on the rights of the child."
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the procedure that either partially or wholly removes the external female genitalia, and/or cause injury to female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.
According to the World Health Organization, there are three different procedures of FGM. The first procedure is called the Clitoridectom, includes the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, and in unique cases only the prepuce. Procedure two, the excision, is the partial or complete removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the lips that surround the vagina), with or without excision of the labia majora. Procedure three includes infibulation, which is the narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a covering seal. The covering seal is created by cutting and repositioning the inner or outer labia with or without the removal of clitoris.
All three procedures of FGM present an increased risk of death to a baby with 10 to 20 out of every thousand babies born in Africa die during delivery due to FGM. A mother who has undergone infibulation is 70 percent more likely to experience postpartum hemorrhage compared to women who have not undergone FGM.
In many African countries it is seen as a way to lower the risk of promiscuity. Among the life-threatening health risk FGM poses, it also reduces the woman's opportunity to enjoy an orgasm and negatively affects a woman's sexual pleasure.
Many societies that practice FGM state that it prolongs the sexual pleasure for men and enhance the woman's beauty. Additionally it is used to preserve virginity, and ensure marriageability.
Approximately two million girls suffer the lifelong consequences of FGM each year. Many individuals who perform these procedures have no medical training and perform FGM without the use of any anesthetics, sterilizations or the appropriate medical utensils.