West Africa health news

Female Genital Mutilation Continues in Guinea

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June 21, 2016

Although national and international law prohibits the practice, female genital mutilation and excision (FGM/E) continues to be carried out in every region of Guinea. With the second highest prevalence of FGM/E worldwide after Somalia, 97% of women and girls aged 15 to 49 years in Guinea have undergone excision, according to a new report from the United Nations (http://bit.ly/1pCCTfk).

M. J. Friedrich

The report notes that relative to years past, FGM/E is being carried out on much younger girls, with 69% of women aged 20 to 24 years having undergone excision before 10 years of age. Traditionally groups of girls were excised together, but there has been an increase in private practices, such as individual excision and excision in infants, which may result from awareness campaigns and an increase in legal sanctions.

Lack of action by judicial authorities, support from political and religious leaders, and impunity for traditional practitioners and medical personnel who carry out the practice contribute to the persistence of FGM/E. The report recommends that the government, nongovernmental organizations, and the international community urge Guinean authorities to enforce relevant legislation, investigate suspected cases of excision impartially, and prosecute all perpetrators.

 read more at JAMA

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