Monday, January 21, 2008

Mass female genital mutilation events held in Indonesia

New York Times has an article about female “circumcisers” who cut off a piece of a girls genitalia, in Indonesia.

"Studies have shown that in some parts of Indonesia, female circumcision is ... ritualistic — a rite of passage meant to purify the genitals and bestow gender identity on a female child — with a practitioner rubbing turmeric on the genitals or pricking the clitoris once with a needle to draw a symbolic drop of blood.

"In other instances, the procedure is more invasive, involving what WHO classifies as 'Type I' female genital mutilation, defined as excision of the clitoral hood, called the prepuce, with or without incision of the clitoris itself.

"The Population Council’s 2003 study said that 82 percent of Indonesian mothers who witnessed their daughters’ circumcision reported that it involved 'cutting.'

"The women most often identified the clitoris as the affected body part. The amount of flesh removed, if any, was alternately described by circumcisers as being the size of a quarter-grain of rice, a guava seed, a bean, the tip of a leaf, the head of a needle...

"Any distinction between injuring the clitoris or the clitoral hood is irrelevant, says Laura Guarenti, an obstetrician and WHO’s medical officer for child and maternal health in Jakarta. 'The fact is there is absolutely no medical value in circumcising girls,' she says. 'It is 100 percent the wrong thing to be doing.' The circumcision of boys, she adds, has demonstrated health benefits, namely reduced risk of infection and some protection against H.I.V."

Mass female genital mutilation events held in Indonesia


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