According to the World Heath Organization, there is an estimated 125 million girls and women throughout the world who have been subjected to a practice called female genital mutilation (FGM), a majority of whom lives in Africa and the Middle East.
FGM is the removing or altering of the external genitalia of girls and young women, which is a centuries-old practice that predates modern religion.
Supporters of this practice provide various reasons for maintaining it, often citing cultural traditions. Opponents of FGM provide a long list of medical and moral reasons why it should end.
Whatever the medical or cultural reasons given for or against FGM, the African National Women’s Organization (ANWO) is clear that, at its core, female genital mutilation further limits the freedom of African women and girls who are already suffering under colonial domination.
Therefore, we unite with the African People’s Socialist Party’s position to end the mutilation of women that reads:
“African women also find themselves locked into backward social practices that have assumed the weight of culture. Genital mutilation is one of the most obvious of such practices.
“While there is a debate on whether this practice was introduced into Africa by Arabs or other external forces, the fact remains that genital mutilation is a brutal method used in attempt to guarantee male inheritance rights by limiting the sexual freedom of women.”