The principle against female genital mutilation is obvious and easy to understand. The facts are more complicated, contrary to the simplistic case so often put forth. For example (emphasis added):
Nine women have been sentenced to jail terms for the female circumcision of around 30 young girls, in what the UN said was the first criminal prosecution of its kind in Ivory Coast.
The women, aged between 46 and 91, were found guilty of “female genital mutilation”, or complicity.
From the Orchid Project (italics added):
The person performing female genital cutting differs according to the context. In rural areas, FGC may be performed by traditional birth attendants or cutters. Often FGC will be carried out in unsterile conditions using a basic instrument such as a blunt knife or a piece of glass. In other places, there may be a known cutter, who has high regard within her community. Generally, the person undertaking the cutting is a woman.
This does nothing to excuse this evil, of course. But it shows that it’s more complex than the often-cited narrative that it’s imposed by men on women as a form of control. It is control, and the ignorant preferences of males in those cultures plays a large part. The complicity and responsibility for the violence is far broader, though. Effective measures for stopping it are more likely to develop when we’re honest about how and why it happens.