Every day, an estimated 8,000 girls worldwide are cut and marred in a debilitating process known as female genital mutilation, or FGM.
But survivors and experts stress that this is not a faraway human rights violation. A portion of it is happening right here in the United States of America.
“Not a day goes by where I am not contacted by a girl who has been cut in this country, or forced to visit another country to have it done,” Jaha Dukureh, an infant FGM survivor, activist and founder of the support and educational foundation Safe Hands for Girls, told Fox News. “Sometimes, it is doctors performing it under the guise of plastic or vaginoplasty procedures, or in quiet and underground settings.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half a million girls in the United States have endured, or remain at risk, of suffering FGM – a threefold uptick from their 1990 projection. FGM is considered a cultural practice that ensures “a girl’s purity and eligibility for marriage,” and typically involves the partial or complete extraction of the external female genitalia. Read more:
Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense