The WHO fact sheet on FGM is excellent, for what it does. I’ve modified and condensed it below into a universal, concise fact sheet on genital mutilation that respects equal human rights for all (male, female, and intersex) individuals.
- Genital mutilation (GM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the genital organs of a non-consenting individual for non-medical (i.e. non-therapeutic) reasons.
- GM is a violation of human rights.
Genital mutilation (GM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external genitalia of a non-consenting individual, or other injury to the genital organs of a non-consenting individual for non-medical (i.e. non-therapeutic) reasons.
GM is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. It reflects deep-rooted inequality, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against children. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.
Genital mutilation is classified as:
- Any surgical interventions or harmful procedures to the healthy genitalia of a non-consenting individual for non-medical (i.e. non-therapeutic) purposes
No therapeutic benefits, only harm
GM has no objective, immediate therapeutic health benefits, and it harms individuals in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of the individual’s body.