Although male circumcision (MC) and female genital mutilation(FGM) both involve the surgical removal of sections of the genitalia, while men benefit from circumcision,girls and women are harmed by FGM. Belema Ekine, 28, a correspondent from Tombia, Rivers State in Nigeria argues that with females suffering so much from FGM, advocacy is crucial to discourage the practice.
When male circumcision (MC) is done properly by trained personnel in an hygienic environment, no damage is done to the male external genitalia, in fact this practice can yield several benefits for men. Female genital mutilation (FGM) on the other hand is both dangerous and damaging to females.
By definition, male “circumcision” is the surgical removal of the skin covering the tip of the male external genitalia, while female genital “mutilation” or cutting comprises surgical procedures which inflict serious damage to the female through partially or completely cutting off the clitoris, the labia or the other harmful acts done to the genitalia. FGM automatically degrades the appearance and function of the external genital and the body. This means there is no right way to practice FGM and it simply cannot and should not be classified as circumcision.
There are various reasons why male circumcision (MC) is done and practiced in several parts of the world which range from religious to cultural/social and medical. In some religions where male circumcision is practiced, there are said to be religious basis in religious texts. In religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism, MC is linked to the covenant between God and Moses and as such is known to be practiced in confirmation of that covenant and their relationship with God. However when it comes to the practice of FGM, there has been no concrete basis in any of the religious text for it and as a result this practice has no religious backing or foundation.
When it comes to the medical dimension, MC reduces the risk of breeding bacteria linked to urinary tract infections, and sexually transmitted infections. It also benefits the female partner of the circumcised male, as she is partially protected from contracting infections and diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and cervical cancer. In contrast FGM has been studied and found to have no medical or hygienic benefits to the female. Instead FGM has been linked to several long term health problems and discomfort for women like urinary disturbance, cysts, painful periods, delivery complication, caesarean section, and post partum hemorrhage.
Further, male circumcision has no effect on the male sexual drive or functioning. The opposite is the case for females who have undergone FGM, irrespective of the type of FGM. The research and experiences of those women who have had their genitals mutilated show that women are left with reduced or irreversible loss of sexual desire or capability which affects pleasure and performance for both the male and female partners.
The removal of the skin covering the tip of the male external genitalia is beneficial to males while female genital mutilation is dangerous and damaging to females.For this reason, advocacy for the abandonment or ending of the Female Genital Mutilation must continue .
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About me :
Belema Sandra Ekine lives in Abuja, where she works As An Administrative Officer with the Nigerian Institute Of Advanced Legal Studies. She Also volunteers with Project Kadara, A leadership and mentoring project for secondary school girls. Belema Sandra enjoys writing and photography, which she hopes to use to share important messages about national and global issues, while promoting peace, gender equality and sustainable development.
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