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Female genital mutilation and the practice of midwifery - Dissertation Example
The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which FGM will affect its victim in relationship to both psychological and medical ways so that midwives can more effectively be prepared to handle the consequences of these events that have been inflicted on mother under their care…
From this research it is clear that female genital mutilation, also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, has been defined by the World Health Organisation as “all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. Unlike male circumcision, there are no health benefits to female circumcision and often contribute to urination difficulties or difficulty in childbirth later in life. The procedure most often will occur between the ages of birth and 15 and is considered a violation against women by world organisations across agencies. There are an estimated 100 to 140 million women who live with the consequences of the procedure with 92 million living on the African continent.
There are four major types of FGM. These types are as follows:
• Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
• Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).
• Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
• Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.