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Female genital mutilation: a hidden epidemic (statement from the European Academy of Paediatrics)

Abstract

Female genital mutilation or female circumcision is frequently performed worldwide. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that worldwide, 100–140 million girls and women currently have to live with the consequences of female genital mutilation. The article argues that the tradition is one of the causes, while another four possible reasons for undergoing such cruel mutilation of young girls exist. Today, there exists a classification of at least four different ways of such mutilation which has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. Long-term consequences like recurrent urinary tract infections, dysmenorrhea, sexual problems, infertility and complications both for the mother and infant at delivery are mentioned. Female genital mutilation is a violation of the fundamental human rights, as well as a savage breach of the integrity and personality. Conclusion: The European Academy of Paediatrics advises its members to initiate appropriate counselling for parents and female adolescents regarding the risk of female genital mutilation and strongly condemns female genital mutilation and councils its members not to perform such procedures.

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Abbreviations

FGM:

Female genital mutilation

WHO:

World Health Organisation

EAP:

European Academy of Paediatrics

AAP:

American Academy of Pediatrics

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Correspondence to Pieter J. J. Sauer.

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Sauer, P.J.J., Neubauer, D. Female genital mutilation: a hidden epidemic (statement from the European Academy of Paediatrics). Eur J Pediatr 173, 237–238 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-013-2126-0

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Keywords

  • Female circumcision
  • Mutilation
  • Long-term consequences
  • Violation of human rights
  • Statement of the European Academy of Paediatrics