For many women across the world, clitoral stimulation is a highly pleasurable part of sex, yet for those who have undergone the trauma of female genital mutilation (FGM) this pleasure is unknown.
Clitoris Awareness Week, sponsored by Clitoraid aims to raise awareness of FGM, highlighting the dangers that accompany the procedure, sexual inequality, and infringements upon the rights of women and children globally.
According to the World Health Organisation FGM “comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” all of which cause long-term damage and interfere with the natural functions of a woman’s body.
Along with the negative psychological consequences of FGM, it can also result in an increased risk of HIV due to various biological, anatomical, and social factors.
The reasons for FGM vary across the globe, but all include a mixture of social, cultural, and religious factors. Practitioners of the procedure consider it to be a vital part of raising a woman, as it is said to reduce libido and ensure and maintain pre-martial virginity.
Over 140 million women worldwide are subjected to this practice. FGM is now a criminal offence in many countries, but is still widely practiced in parts of Africa and Asia. In 1982, Sweden became the first country to pass anti-FGM legislation. A similar law was then enacted in Britain in 1985 and in the USA in 1997.
Whether you’re a mother, aunt, sister, or niece, no woman should be made to go through this kind of mutilation. By educating and empowering young women about their rights we can all play a part in ending FGM.
Happy Clitoris Week!