oa Alternation - A profile of female genital mutilation and human rights: towards outlawing the practice

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Although there is a worldwide movement towards the recognition that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of torture and a violation of human rights, there are still protagonists who believe that the practice is justified. In the course of this research, claims were often encountered that FGM is neither a human rights violation nor a form of torture but an important cultural rite. Attempts to justify and enforce FGM have a strong cultural and religious bias. Although the sincerity of these views was respected, it was apparent that these views were seldom grounded in any detailed insight or knowledge regarding the procedures involved or the suffering endured. This article aims to fill that hiatus. Through a detailed descriptionptive analysis of the various procedures and the consequences of FGM, this article will a) show exactly how and why FGM is regarded as a torturous experience, b) delineate which rights are violated, and, c) list the measures that have been adopted by various countries in relation to FGM. What follows is a general overview, and while some countries may perform the mildest form of FGM, in other countries the most extreme type may predominate.

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