Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, is illegal in the UK and is child abuse. It involves deliberately injuring, cutting, removing parts of, or changing the genitals for no medical reason. It is very painful and can cause complications such as problems with sex, childbirth, pain passing urine, infections, and mental ill health. Some women and girls die from blood loss or future infections.
FGM is often carried out in early childhood and before puberty starts, although it can also impact upon young women.
There are no acceptable reasons to carry out FGM. People may use culture, tradition, or religion to justify their actions however FGM has a detrimental impact on women and girls lives and is widely understood to be a violation of their human rights.
UNICEF state that there are over 200 million girls and women alive today, living in 31 countries, who have undergone FGM.