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This was made an offence by the Prohibition of female circumcision act (1985). It is not a defence to say that the victim gave consent, which puts it on the same footing as other Offences against the person that cause injury whose severity is equal to, or greater than, ABH. However, male circumcision is one of the class of activities in which consent can be used as a defence; others include agressive sports and surgery. The distinction seems to be that female circumcision was widely practised among certain ethnic groups, and women were too scared to deny consent. In addition, male circumcision may serve a medical benefit, while this is never true of female circumcision.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Female genital cutting
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting (FGC), female circumcision or female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), is any procedure involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs "whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons." The term is almost exclusively used to describe traditional or religious procedures on a minor, which requires the parents' consent because of the age of the girl.
When the procedure is performed on and with the consent of an adult it is generally called clitoridectomy, or it may be part of labiaplasty or vaginoplasty. It also generally does not refer to procedures used in gender reassignment surgery, and the genital modification of intersexuals.
FGC is practiced throughout the world, with the practice concentrated most heavily in Asia and Africa. Opposition is motivated by concerns regarding the consent (or lack thereof, in most cases) of the patient, and subsequently the safety and long-term consequences of the procedures. In the past several decades, there have been many concentrated efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to end the practice of FGC. The United Nations has also declared February 6 as "International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation"