The origin of Female Genital Mutilation is obscure. It has however been proven that the practice of excision existed in Egypt in the time of the pharaohs. Certain mummies are excised. And this is why one of the forms of FGM is called ?pharaonic excision?. This fact clearly shows that excision is not related to religion. Unfortunately fundamentalist islamists vehemently maintain that:
· excision is an Islamic requirement (even though the Koran does not mention it)
· an unexcised woman is impure (cannot say her religious prayers)
· an unexcised woman is sexually insatiable and therefore may have relations with several men (adultery)
· fighting against excision is fighting against Islam.
· The fight against MGF is a teaching from western countries.
In addition to these arguments by the Islamite fundamentalists are the arguments by the African traditionalists who maintain that:
· tradition must remain intact;
· traditional practices, even those that are harmful (excision, early marriage, nutritional taboos?) are African values that should not be touched;
· the fight against Female Genital Mutilation is influenced by western countries;
· an excised woman is more submissive to her husband (which is considered a huge social value)
In fact, Female Genital Mutilation is:
· a serious violation of human rights. Girls are mutilated without their consent;
· a violation of bodily security (ablation of the organs: clitoris, labia minora, labia majora ?) with severe consequences to the sexuality and reproduction of women.
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