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FGM slowing down? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it

15.6.2013. Mirielle Valette explains in the French feminist magazine Sisyphe why the United Nations figures about female genital mutilations are too low. Giving details about evidence from several Asian countries, she questions why the UN does not update their assumptions about FGM.

by Mireille Vallette

The UN communication with regard to sexual mutilations is deceitful. It underestimates the number of excised girls, ignores the reality of excisors countries such as Indonesia, and maintains strict taboo of the religions role. Without it, reality would appear naked : some 300 mio Muslims are concerned by excision and without an active intervention of religious leaders, the scourge will not disappear.

Investigation and call for a mobilization !

Unicef provides annually the status about the situation of female genital mutilation.1) It is estimated that some 130 million women worldwide have endured it and that three million girls are subject annually to the circumciser’s knife or to any other kind of mutilation. Figures are far below reality.

Unicef also announced that these mutilations are decreasing everywhere. It is also false : in some countries, the scourge increases. The agency also asserts that in 25 years, mutilations will have disappeared. A dream…

The implicit assumption of these statistics is that excising countries are known and identified. Howewer, only Africa (and Yemen) fall into this accounting. Does only Africa excise ? No, but to collect representative data and integrate them, Unicef needs the approval of the governments.

What happens in the Middle East and Southeast Asia ? About the first, we do not know much and the second contradicts the findings of Unicef. In Indonesia and Malaysia, the feminine genital mutilations (FGM) are common, and rising. Moreover, they contribute to the increasing medicalization denounced by the WHO in other countries.

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