Female genital cutting

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Female genital cutting (FGC), also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), 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."[1] 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.[2][3][4] It also generally does not refer to procedures used in sex reassignment surgery, and the genital modification of intersexuals.[5][6][7]

FGC is practiced predominantly in North Africa and parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia,[8] although it has also been reported to occur in individual tribes in South America and Australia.[9] 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 concerted efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to end the practice of FGC. The United Nations has also declared February 6 as "International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation".[10][11]

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