Intended for healthcare professionals


Female genital mutilation: whose problem, whose solution?

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:106

Female Genital Mutilation: deeply rooted cultural problem

I think the author over simplified the Female genital mutilation
problem by comparing it to genital cosmetic surgery in the west. FGM is a
multidimensional and deeply rooted cultural problem. In some cultures FGM
is the accepted norm and people with opposed views run the risk of being
isolated within their own culture. One of the myths of the problem is the
belief that uncircumcised females have slim chance of getting married due
to male preference of circumcised females. In my numerous years working as
an obstetrician in developing countries, I came to belief, FGM is a
complex and deeply rooted cultural problem, this is why the effort put by
many statutory and voluntary organisation to combat the problem is
unsuccessful and the custom is still widely practised in many parts of the
world. Such views are damaging to million of women in the developing
world, a world that is dominated by men and governed by cultural myths and
wrong beliefs.

Competing interests:

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 July 2006
Mayada A Abu Affan, MD, MRCOG,MSC
Senior SpR, Public Health Medicine
Grampian NHS Board, 2 Eady Road, Aberdeen AB15 6RE