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100,000 women

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sally carr
903453.  Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:24 am Reply with quote

According to the Telegraph 100,000 women have undergone genital mutilation in this country. Only two doctors have been struck off. I find this totally unacceptable.

 
exnihilo
903457.  Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:45 am Reply with quote

I Googled for the article in question and I may be wrong on this, but it appears to be a report picked up from a US news source by the Australian Telegraph from a story which originally appeared in the Sunday Times and it seems uncertain about its figures offering both 10,000 and 100,000.

The information seems to be plucked from the air as nothing approximating to either figure has ever been reported. But don't let any of that stop your outrage.

 
Posital
903459.  Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:29 am Reply with quote

Can I be outraged at the outrage?

 
exnihilo
903462.  Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:36 am Reply with quote

Knock yourself out.

 
Spike
903465.  Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:43 am Reply with quote

Are you being outrageous?

 
Leith
903470.  Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:12 am Reply with quote

I had a look for the figures, too. In the course of doing so, I found some World Health Organization figures on the worldwide prevalence of female genital mutilation ('FGM', as they refer to the practice), which made shocking reading. I'd been aware that it was an issue in parts of Africa particularly, but not that it affected such a huge proportion of the population in some countries:
WHO: Prevalence of FGM

As for the UK, and the 100,000 figure, this appears to refer to women now living in the UK who have undergone genital mutilation in their countries of origin. Here's the Telegraph article:
The Telegraph: 100,000 British women mutilated
The Telegraph wrote:
According to Forward, a charity which campaigners against FGM, an estimated 100,000 women in the UK have undergone mutilation.


FORWARD state in their 2002 information pack (pdf) on FGM:
FORWARD wrote:
FORWARD estimates that there are presently 86,000 first generation immigrant and refugee women and girls in the UK who have undergone FGM in their countries of origin, with more than 7,000 girls at risk.

..citing the Office of National Statistics Labour Force Survey, 1999 as their source for the figures. I assume the 100,000 figure is a projection or update from the 86,000 quoted above.

As far as the prevalence of FGM actually being performed in the UK is concerned, it's the "7,000 girls at risk" that relates. That's perhaps a less headline grabbing figure than 100,000, but serious cause for concern nonetheless, I'd say.

I've not identified the specific Labour Force Survey figures that this is based on, yet. If anyone else is curious, they should be available in here somewhere:
http://www.esds.ac.uk/government/lfs/

 
Starfish13
903747.  Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:02 am Reply with quote

sally carr wrote:
According to the Telegraph 100,000 women have undergone genital mutilation in this country. Only two doctors have been struck off. I find this totally unacceptable.


How do you know that doctors have carried out the practice?

Reports of FGM claim that, for the most part, the procedure is carried out by an older woman in the community who acts in the role of a healer and/or midwife, and has little or no medical training. Other examples describe the practice being carried out by dentists or barbers.

 
Jenny
903804.  Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:44 pm Reply with quote

I must make it clear (because I think I will get jumped on...) that I think the practice is totally abhorrent and should never happen.

But - if you are a doctor or surgeon and you work with people with these traditional ethnic views, and a parent comes to you and asks you to do this, and you know that the alternative is that the mother will take the child back to Africa where the operation will be done by a traditional woman with no medical training using possibly rusty or filthy tools, what would you do if you can't talk her out of it?

Do you try and talk her into the very minor procedure where there is a nick made in the clitoral hood (considerably less disruptive than male circumcision but approved of by some traditional Islamic authorities)?

Do you report her to the police/social services? If she is in all other ways a good parent and the child has as yet come to no harm, they will do nothing. If you convince them that she intends to take the child back to Africa to have this mutilation done, they might take her into care - is this an outcome to be desired and will it make life better in all other respects for the child?

If all else fails, I can imagine a case where a doctor might decide in what he sincerely feels is the child's best interests to perform the least invasive possible surgery himself.

 
bobwilson
904092.  Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:13 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
But - if you are a doctor or surgeon........

Do you report her to the police/social services?


Actually, you don't have any choice in the matter. You'd be legaly obliged to report her to the police - and the statement

Quote:
If she is in all other ways a good parent and the child has as yet come to no harm, they will do nothing.


is conjecture.

Quote:
If all else fails, I can imagine a case where a doctor might decide in what he sincerely feels is the child's best interests to perform the least invasive possible surgery himself.


He might feel that way - but if he did it he wouldn't be a doctor for very long.

 
Arcane
904099.  Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:19 pm Reply with quote

I agree with bob on those points; but it would be very hard to get doctors to admit they had done it, as the acts below show that it is illegal to perform.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_mutilation

Now, I have a strong stomach for medical procedures, but I actually felt sick and crossed my legs in empathy when I read this. I wouldn't suggest reading this if you're not good with reading graphic information.

Some legalities regarding FGM that I found for various countries:

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2011/194/3/female-genital-mutilation-australian-law-policy-and-practical-challenges-doctors

Australia

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/31

UK.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2005/8

Scotland.

http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/Policies/PolicyFGM2/pdf

Canada.

 
filofax
904124.  Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:17 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
If she is in all other ways a good parent and the child has as yet come to no harm, they will do nothing.


is conjecture.


I don't think it is conjecture, actually. If a child is in a good, happy, stable family, and the only evidence the police have is hearsay that they may be planning to take her to Africa for an illegal operation, I don't think there's an awful lot the police can do.
You can hardly remove a child from it's parents just because someone has reported a possible future crime, with no evidence to back up the accusation, can you?

 
Starfish13
904137.  Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:51 am Reply with quote

FGM is a violation on a child's right to physical integrity, and as such is considered by the NSPCC* to be a form of child abuse.
*http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/policyandpublicaffairs/policysummaries/femalegenitalmutilation_wdf58610.pdf

The Acts which Arcane links to for the UK detail how it is an offence for UK nationals or permanent residents to carry out FGM overseas, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure FGM abroad, even in places where it is legally permitted.

Allowing your child to have the procedure done to them, either illegally in the UK or legally elsewhere, is abuse by neglecting to protect your child from harm. The procedure itself is physical abuse of a child.

At what stage of any report or allegation of abuse should social services/the police step in?

 
filofax
904200.  Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:40 am Reply with quote

I would think that they would have to have pretty compelling evidence that this was the intention of the trip abroad, and I have no idea what would constitute legal justification of removing the child from the family home. I don't know whether the testimony of a health care professional would be sufficient.

(My entire knowledge of this subject is based on a Ruth Rendell novel which deals with this precise quandary - I can't remember now how the estimable Inspector Wexford dealt with it)

 

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