Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting: An interview with Terre des Femmes, Germany


By Charlotte Weil (TDF), Nikki van de Veerdonk (MH Hub)and Mariana de la Roche (MH Hub)

One health issue that still prevents millions of women worldwide from realizing their full potential is the practice of female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM.C).

FGM.C, can be defined as any and all procedures that involve the practice of partially or totally removing the external female genitalia or causing injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons. According to Terre des Femmes, worldwide, around 200 million women and girls alive today are affected by FGM.C alive today, and, there are 68 million other girls still at risk of FGM.C between now and 2030.

The health risks of FGM.C detailed by the World Health Organization are extensive. One way that menstrual health is complicated by FCM.C has to do with the face that the vaginal opening may become obstructed, leading to painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), irregular menses and difficulty in passing menstrual blood, particularly among women with Type III FGM.C Other short- and long term consequences of FGM.C are psychological problems, infections, urinal problems, complications during pregnancy and childbirth and death.

One of the organizations that is highly committed to the topic of FGM.C is Terres des Femmes. Since the founding in 1981, members of Terre des Femmes have been active against FGM.C .

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