"Yes We Ban” all forms of female circumcision" 140 million girls and women worldwide have suffered one or another form of genital mutilation. Every year 2 million fall victims of this harmful practice. This practise dates back to Egyptian history when the Pharaoh was told a prophet (Moses) would be born and become king. The Pharaoh then made traditional birth attendants all stitch girls and women in his kingdom. The myth behind its continuation is that it preserves the honour of girls and keeps them ‘pure’. This practice, now known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female genital cutting is usually done by a non-medical person without hygienic measures or pain relief. The immediate effect to the girl/women is the shock from the experience, unbearable pain, bleeding, infection including tetanus, and the inability to pass urine. The long term effects include psychological trauma, scarring, marital relationship difficulties and problems during childbirth and infertility. Death has occurred as a direct effect of the procedure or due to its consequences. Alarmingly; there is a recent phenomenon of circumcising girls in mass numbers at religious festivals. We need to think about the plight of these terrified girls, forcibly held down by their own families, hearing each other screaming as they are subject without mercy, to a most cruel and inhumane crime. This was the trigger for our petition as it showed that rather than mutilation becoming remote and extinct, there is a creeping spread outside Africa to Asia and worse still, it could now be repeated regularly in mass numbers. FGM is against the Convention on Human Rights , the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women as well as many other conventions. A consistent, deterrent, universal law making offenders accountable and punishable is our urgent aim. This will also protect families who may be under pressure to mutilate daughters for fear of being outcast from their society. In the United Kingdom, FGM was outlawed in 1985 and an Act came in 2003 making this harmful practice an offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison. We aim to introduce the UK’s Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003) in all countries regardless of the existence of this harmful practice. This will prevent the trafficking of girls to countries to where it is not illegal and will also prevent migrant communities from mutilating children in the developed world. By signing this petition you can help in banning all forms of FGM all over the world. We will double the effort by handing the petition to law regulating authorities in individual countries and demand that the mutilation of girls is made illegal. Universality will ensure clarity, introducing a local law in addition to international conventions to save and protect innocent children and women. We will also endeavour to reach the local communities through their own leaders to educate them about the moral and social implications of this harmful practice so that it is abandoned. As an international community we cannot rest until we are liberated from harmful traditions There are still helpless victims crying for help on our modern times and it is crucial that the world comes together as one to end this obvious abuse once and for all. The sooner we take action , the fewer the victims. Dr Amira Salih MBBS MRCOG ST6 Obstetrics and Gynaecology Yorkshire Deanery United Kingdom Mrs Amel Salih M.Sc Public and Tropical Health Public Health Specialist Sudan Dr Junaid Rafi Registrar Obstetrics and Gynaecology Scarborough NHS Trust UK Dr Anthony Falconer President Royal College Obstetricians & Gynaecologist United Kingdom
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