News Coverage of Female Genital Cutting

A seven country comparative study

Authored by: Meghan Sobel

The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138665545
eBook ISBN: 9781315619835
Adobe ISBN:


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Female genital cutting (FGC), also referred to as ‘female genital mutilation’ or ‘female 
circumcision’, is a practice believed to occur in 29 African countries, various middle-eastern nations, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, certain communities in South America and various diaspora populations around the globe (UNFPA 2015). FGC, the ‘partial or total removal of the external female genitalia’ (UNFPA 2015), is estimated to have been performed on more than 100 million girls (Wade 2011). Such procedures can be ‘permanent, sometimes extensive, and often debilitating’ (WHO 2013). FGC procedures are typically, though not always, performed at or before puberty, giving the girl minimal ability to consent (Wade 2011). Additionally, severe health consequences have been reported as a result of the procedure, specifically when performed in unhygienic environments, with contaminated tools and/or by an unskilled practitioner (often a village elder) (Wade 2011).

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