The United Nations has unanimously voted to ban female circumcision (also known as female genital mutilation), instructing the 193 member states to take action by enacting legislation and leading education campaigns for both young women and men in order to penalize violators and protect women and girls from the gruesome act. FGM is the practice of removing part of or the whole clitoris; and is often considered a cultural ritual in many countries. Side effects of FGM include painful and complicated childbirth, pain during intercourse, infection and even death. Many critics see FGM as a way to keep women down, “removing” their sexuality. According to the UN, 70 million girls and women were circumcised in 2010 in countries all over the world, from Iraq to Indonesia.
While the ban has a lot of supporters, there are many people bringing up the argument that the UN is engaging in cultural imperialism, interfering in the cultural practices of other nations. It’s an interesting argument–should the UN be allowed to interfere? There are many who hate the practice, but don’t think the ban should go in effect as girls and women can be shunned from their communities if they’re not cut. Telling people that their cultures are outdated and barbaric isn’t necessarily the best way to make change. But this involves cutting and removing part of women, and the ban could help make great strides for the nations who practice it. Where’s the balance, how do we go about making change?
This is where you come in, LivLunatics–let’s start a conversation! What do you think? Is the UN helping or hindering? Shout it out in the comments!