Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is a violation of the human rights of girls and young women. It involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-therapeutic reasons and is most prevalent in low resource settings. Women with FGM/C can suffer significant complications, especially during childbirth.Dr Mary McCauley, Senior Clinical Research Associate at CMNH, has written a mini-commentary highlighting that despite its devastating impact and documented adverse health outcomes for young girls and women, the practice of FGM/C continues. Read Dr McCauley’s full mini-commentary, The global challenge to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women affected by FGM/C, in BJOG.
“Efforts must be made to ensure healthcare providers caring for women in low resource settings have the knowledge and skills to recognise and manage FGM/C complications, especially during pregnancy and childbirth. The practice of FGM/C is indefensible and healthcare providers have a duty to highlight FGM/C as a human rights issue and work in partnership with communities to educate them to take steps to eradicate FGM/C. Healthcare providers are in a unique position to provide appropriate, sensitive counselling and treatment of women who have undergone this procedure.”
The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at LSTM firmly advocates that all women have the right to the highest attainable standard of health and well-being. The team is leading research and training healthcare providers in routine maternity and emergency obstetric care, not only to prevent maternal death but to improve women’s overall health and well-being during and after pregnancy. There is urgency to ensure that the elimination of FGM/C remains on the international agenda.