UK Midwives May Question Patients About Female Genital Mutilation

The Royal College of Midwives is considering how best to implement the Department of Health’s recommendation on gathering data about the practice, which is illegal in the United Kingdom.

“Female genital mutilation has not been taken seriously by the authorities to date, as many professionals consider it to be a cultural practice and are reluctant to address this for fear of being accused of being racist by the affected communities,” said Efua Dorkenoo, advocacy director of the genital mutilation programme of Equality Now. “It is estimated that in England and Wales there are 66,000 women who have undergone mutilation, while 24,000 girls are at risk of undergoing mutilation.”

Authorities think that most health professionals will now be willing to ask questions despite the risk of offending cultural sensibilities—which is good, because genital mutilation has no roots in religion but everything to do with misogynistic ideas about the “need” for curtailing female sexual desire.

Via Deanna Ogle.