Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/23/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

In some nations, procedures done at home are now performed by medical officials

The barbaric practice of female genital mutilation, still performed in parts of Africa and Middle East, are done to ensure young females' virginity. In spite of inroads to ban the practice worldwide, the United Nations reports that at least 30 million young women remain at risk. While communities are becoming more open to discontinue the practice, a recent report has found that these groups feel compelled to continue as part of their cultural tradition.

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. In its most extreme form, the vaginal opening is sewn closed.

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. In its most extreme form, the vaginal opening is sewn closed.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/23/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Female genital mutilation, Africa, Middle East, attitudes, men, women, cultural norms

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The U.N. children's agency UNICEF warned on Monday as it launched the first comprehensive overview of the practice. More than 125 million girls and women have been subjected to the ordeal, according to the report.

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. In its most extreme form, the vaginal opening is sewn closed.

The practice remains deeply entrenched. Girls who are not cut are often ostracized in their tribes, villages or communities. Many families from both Muslim and Christian communities also believe FGM is a religious requirement -- even though there is no mention of it in either the Koran or Bible.

"(FGM) is a violation of a girl's rights to health, well-being and self-determination," UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta says. "What is clear from this report is that legislation alone is not enough. The challenge now is to let girls and women, boys and men speak out loudly and clearly and announce they want this harmful practice abandoned."

Thousands of years old, FGM is often seen as a manifestation of patriarchal control. However, the report shows a growing number of men and boys oppose the ritual. A surprise found in the study is that in three countries - Chad, Guinea and Sierra Leone - more men than women want FGM to end.

UNICEF says girls and women consistently underestimate the proportion of boys and men who are against FGM and that the tradition is being kept alive partly because of a lack of communication on the issue, which is often shrouded in secrecy.  

There are hopeful trends: In Kenya, girls between 15 and 19 are three times less likely to have been cut than women 30 years older. Prevalence has also halved among adolescent girls in Benin, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria.

There has been no significant change in Chad, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen however.

Usually carried out with unsterilized instruments, FGM can cause severe health and psychological problems. In some cases, girls bleed to death or die from infections. Later in life, FGM can lead to complications in childbirth and increase the risk of the mother and/or baby dying.

Most disturbing is the trend in some countries is towards "medical-izing" the procedure - something that has alarmed campaigners. Traditional cutters usually perform FGM but in Egypt, Kenya and Sudan doctors and other health workers also carry it out.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Africa

Homo naledi bones indicate they could both walk and swing through trees Watch

Image of Homo naledi skull (Berger et al.).


Scientists recently discovered over 1,500 bones belonging to 15 individuals, ranging from babies to the elderly Homo naledi species. This species, assigned to the genus Homo, was apparently capable of walking and swinging in trees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

Two lions experience life outside a cage for the first time in eight years Watch

Image of


After years performing in a Bulgarian circus, brothers Jora and Black got to experience a real magical moment following a 10,500-mile journey to Africa, where the lions got to experience freedom and their natural habitat for the first time.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

'MEGA-TSUNAMI': Controversial theory says boulders were hurled over 600-feet in volcanic activity Watch

Image of Researchers later published evidence suggesting a tsunami had hit Santiago long ago. Geologists then took a closer look at the boulders and other associated geological evidence at high elevations.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boulders located on the top of Santiago Island has  scientist Ricardo Ramalho, at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, that giant, mega-tsunamis in prehistoric times hurled them 900 feet in the air. The theory is an intriguing one - ... continue reading

'Discovery' of Queen Nefertiti's tomb debated by archaeologists Watch

Image of Queen Nefertiti, whose name means,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The theory offered by British archaeologist Nicolas Reeves that Queen Nefertiti's final resting place is hidden away in a chamber inside King Tut's tomb excited archaeologists worldwide last year. However, the theory is based on pure speculation. Experts point out ... continue reading

Sudanese rape camp survivors reveal the horrific reality many women face full of brutal rape and abuse (WARNING: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of Sudanese women and girls as young as 12-years-old have been abducted and repeatedly raped by several men, sometimes all at once. The women are usually held captive indefinitely in secret rape camps maintained by government soldiers or abused until they are ... continue reading

Congo's Catholic bishops criticize West over failure to stop abuse of Africa's natural resources Watch

Image of Resources are being illegally extracted from the country's Virunga and Salonga national parks, as well as from animal reserves and other areas

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Bishops of Africa's Congo has spoken out against the relentless exploitation of that nation's material wealth. The bishops are highly critical of Western governments who have failed to act, and are urging church groups to follow the Pope's call to ... continue reading

British archaeologist to begin search for Queen Nefertiti's tomb Watch

Image of Ruling across Egypt at her husband's side, Queen Nefertiti has long captured the popular imagination. Her final resting place has remained a mystery of the ages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Much mystery and speculation remains on the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, "the beautiful one." British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves has now received permission from Egyptian authorities to search Tutankhamen's tomb for the final resting place of ... continue reading

Population boom in Africa fraught with peril - and new hope, BBC says Watch

Image of Improvements in medical technology has helped many people in developing nations to live longer -- adding to population growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is an improved rate of survival in Africa with the introduction advanced medical technologies. Because of this, the population along with the continent is sure to grow. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, Africa's population will ... continue reading

All hail homo naledi - the new species of humanity discovered in South Africa Watch

Image of A new species of early human being has been confirmed with the discovery of fossilized remains in South Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new species of early human being has been confirmed with the discovery of fossilized remains in South Africa. Discovered inside a cave, the Homo naledi has been assigned to the genus Homo to which modern man belongs. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

Discovery of 2.8 million-year-old fossils reveals 'Homo naledi' Watch

Image of A reconstruction of what scientists believe Homo naledi looked like (National Geographic Society).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have discovered 1,500 fossils dated 2.8 million-years-old in a subterranean chamber just outside Johannesburg South Africa in an area called the "Cradle of Humankind." LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - The fossils were originally discovered in ... continue reading

All Africa News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Malachi 3:13-20
13 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:5-13
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 8th, 2015 Image

St. Pelagia
October 8: Pelagia, more often called Margaret, on account of the ... Read More