About 6,000 girls a day undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), often willingly, and up to 115 million African women have already had it, US-based development agency World Vision said on Thursday. And bizarre beliefs abound about FGM, such as, if a woman is not circumcised, her husband will die; she will give birth to an abnormal baby, or her genitals may grow to an enormous size. These tales have helped perpetuate the practice in more than 30 countries, Fatuma Hashi, the report’s author, said. “The worst perpetrators of FGM are women themselves,” Hashi said, adding that girls fear being ostracized and older women cling to tradition, unaware of the health risks.
Shahed Amanullah is editor-in-chief of altmuslim.com.