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Female Genital Mutilation : a life-threatening health and human rights issue

Document type: article
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Abstract: The health, physiological, sexual, psychological, and human rights effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) are described and various ways to address the problem are outlined, including the health approach, the cultural approach, the women’s empowerment approach, and the human rights approach. Long-term complications include sexual frigidity; genital malformation; urine retention resulting in repeated urinary infections; obstruction of menstrual flow leading to frequent reproductive tract infections and infertility; chronic pelvic and obstetric complications; and prolonged and obstructed labour. Also, due to damaged sexual organs, sexual intercourse can result in tissue lacerations, which greatly increases risk of HIV transmission. The same is true during childbirth and subsequent loss of blood. The use of law should thus be one component of a multi-disciplinary approach; and outreach efforts by civil society and governments aimed at changing perceptions and attitudes regarding FGM should precede or accompany legislation. In Africa, the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC) is an important networking organization. In Nigeria, associations of nurses, midwives and doctors have actively campaigned against FGM and several NGOs are active in the field of IEC, advocacy and services.
Authors: Gbadamosi, O.
Country: Nigeria
Category: General
End Page: 3
Serial number: 1
ISSN: 1871-7551
Journal: Exchange on HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender
Keywords: health , women , gender , culture , law
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
Year: 2008
Region: Africa South of Sahara
Right: © 2008 KIT
Subject: Health and Nutrition
Start Page: 1
Title: Female Genital Mutilation : a life-threatening health and human rights issue