Female genital mutilation or cutting is largely hidden in Australia and other high-income countries. Most people don’t consider it a major issue. But our research shows it should be.
Our research found girls are presenting to paediatricians in Australia with female genital mutilation, but misconceptions about the practice are common and doctors want more information on how to manage this illegal practice.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO). It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. There are 83,000 women and girls who have been affected by FGM in Australia. FGM has no health benefits but causes lifelong health consequences for women and girls.
Our ReFRESH forum will consist of a presentation on the topic and a personal experience of FGM. The aim is to provide participants with a better understanding of FGM. We will explore where, when, how and why FGM is practised, and how to care for survivors.
The purpose of the euphoric sensation of the female orgasm has long perplexed scientists, as it is not necessary for conception, and is often not experienced by women during sex itself. Now researchers in the US say they might have found its evolutionary roots. Human female orgasm, they say, might be a spin-off from our evolutionary past, when the hormonal surges that accompany it were crucial for reproduction.
Sarian Karim Kamara at Fuuse Forum, Published on 24 Jan 2016
For many years, the problem of FGM has been treated as almost too delicate to address: while laws may be changed, prosecutions rarely follow. More importantly, the necessary safeguarding and prevention measures in schools and in systems of healthcare are underdeveloped. This complacency has been partly justified by a wish to avoid upsetting the sensitivities of minority communities. However, a new generation of activists are leading the battle from inside their own communities, bringing a new urgency and passion to combatting this form of violence against women.
The activists taking part in this Fuuse Forum represent this courageous new wave of anti-FGM activism, developed by women within the affected communities, standing up for their rights over their own bodies against the weight of tradition and identity.
Sarian Karim Kamara is a Community Development worker, Community facilitator, an activist and anti FGM campaigner. She is also a survivor of FGM.
Here she speaks about her FGM story, at the FUUSE forum on “My Body, My Rights – Female Genital Mutilation”.