#endcuttinggirls : So what exactly is the medicalisation of FGM/C?

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Medicalisation includes, but is not limited to:

  • any FGM/C procedure carried out by a healthcare professional or in a healthcare facility (at home or abroad);
  • the provision of medical equipment for the use of performing FGM;
  • the carrying out of symbolic cutting as an alternative to FGM;
  • providing medical training to traditional cutters and those carrying out FGM,
  • and any procedures to re-establish FGMafter giving birth (reinfibulation).
Over the last few years I have heard many stories from FGM survivors who have undergone FGM carried out by health professionals, I have met a midwife who herself carried out the practice and I have heard personal testimonies of members of high ranking families who have undergone this form of FGM.

What is wrong with medicalisation?

While some people have argued that medicalisation of FGM reduces the risk of infection and danger from complications such as blood loss, this argument ignores the fact that FGM is abuse. No form of FGM is ever acceptable and medicalisation neither makes the procedure safe, nor does it address the long term physical and psychological harm caused by FGM.
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