Controversy Around An Unethical Social Practice Of Female Genital Mutilation

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Social practice, for the most part, refers to the conduct of a society or a sub-culture, especially in relation to the tradition and customary conduct of a specific ethnic or other racial groups. This term applies to any person who, at any point in time, demonstrates some character of any culture. In practice, however, it often refers to traditional practices developed within specific ethnic communities, especially those parts of culture that have been characterized since time immemorial (Smith, 2011). This concept is gaining popularity because of the growing debate about ‘privileges of social practice’ which are reserved by indigenous peoples and sometimes ethnic minorities in many jurisdictions. It is also a significant part of the field of social studies, and it is the main focus of global projects, such as the UN revelation on indigenous peoples ‘ rights.


In social survival issues, cultural practices are also discussed. If an ethnic group maintains its former ethnic personality yet loses its core social traditions or resources, or capacity to carry them on, there is a concern whether the culture will manage to exist. There is a great deal of legitimate ethnic weakness in the genuine inquiry of what constitutes as a valid social practice (Riaño, 2011). Research is ongoing in contentious areas of knowledge, such as genital mutilation, aboriginal gathering and hunting behaviors, and the approval of traditional medicinal experts.

Most traditional cultures accept leaders as cultural figures other than their race, but only for specific reasons. In general, knowledge and titles should be passed in a traditional way, such as through the use of family experience or through a master of a certain profession, in which a particular student chooses attributes for that practice and is taught to understand the core values and belief systems of the community (Smith, 2011). The student has to be in a position to learn in a practical way. The degree to which these non-ethnic practitioners exercise their customary and cultural rights and the extent to which they recognize their practice is legitimate is often widely discussed among native and other racial groups and, in some cases, with the legal systems under which they operate. The distinction between good non-native cultural traditions, racial stereotyping and cultural exploitation is a key issue in the sense of modernization and globalization.

Evolution of culture

In legitimate academic and community forums, traditional societies’ progress is the focus of many debates. It is recognition that all societies are part of sociocultural evolution (Smith, 2011). Nevertheless, major inquiries involve the validity of the social articulations that have recently advanced their growth, mainly when influenced by modernizations or the influence of different societies. Additionally, the source of evolution is worthy of mention: for instance, the ethnic group can acknowledge the use of locally purchased material in making customary expressions, but may reject the necessities of applying for a license for certain purposes; the main contradiction is that one is an internal social evolution, whereas the other is decided by the general or legislative entity governing the way of life from a point.

Harmful Social Practices

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Harmful cultural practices are forms of abuse, mainly directed towards females in specific communities and institutions, as long as they are perceived to be part of recognized social practice and portrayed by the practitioners. Most practices abuse towards women and girls are:- Early marriages, the female genital mutilation, honor based abuse (Riaño, 2011). Today, these practices are perceived to be morally incorrect as they cause more pain to the girl child than good. In some highly developed country strict laws have been drafted to protect human torture in the name of traditional practices.

The Female Genital Mutilation

Research done by world health organization indicates that female genital mutilation is practiced in over 30 countries with different cultures across the globe. According to WHO female genital mutilation refers to all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external genital part of a female or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. These practices are common in some parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, immigrants in Australia, Europe, and North America.

Steps for ending FGM in Mali

  1. Challenging the reasons why Female genital Mutilation is practiced. Malians believe that the cutting of female genitals will help in reducing female sexual urges and make them faithful in their matrimonial home.
  2. Getting support from the older generation to change ongoing tradition. Since the older generation firmly holds cultural practices, it is necessary to change the way they think to protect the upcoming generation from undergoing FGM. Older generations usually have the final say when it comes to the matter of tradition; it is easy ending the traditional norms from the roots.
  3. Girl child education. Teaching the girl child about her rights and matters concerning what happens to their body is also an essential step in ending FGM. Knowledge of the girl child will put them in a position to defend themselves against abusive traditional practices.
  4. Talking about FGM reality and risks. For centuries the females have suffered in silence. It is of great advantage to offer girl child a platform where they can air out the physical and emotional pain they encounter. Among the risks involved in cutting female genital parts are excessive bleeding, death, or infections.
  5. Use Religion to address FGM immorality. In some communities, people believe, especially Muslims, that cutting the female genitals is part of Religion since it helps in keeping girls virginity till marriage. Sharing knowledge on how Religion condemns FGM will help change the thoughts of a religious family.
  6. Air out secrecy involved in cutting. During the old days, FGM was a community ceremony where it was believed it would help a girl become a woman, and it was an initiation rite for females. Nowadays, it is a practice carried out privately, and all decisions lie with the parents.
  7. Campaigning for FGM to be banned. Leading out campaigns that target communities that still practice FGM to put a halt to such practices.
  8. Laws and regulations. Involve the government so that a bill could be passed that protects the girl child from FGM and any community found to practice it to face legal prosecution.

The steps highlighted above are likely to work as it tackles cases of FGM beginning with the old and education the young. This process will help give a girl child freedom of speech; as long as they can air out their worries, it will be easy to offer assistance or take action of protecting them from going through FGM. Also, when the older generation is convinced about the risk associated with FGM, they will help lead the campaign to stop the activity from taking place.

The reason why FGM should stop

There are many health risks involved in Female Genital Mutilation as compared to is seen to be the advantage. The FGM practices could lead to severe bleeding, loss of life, complications during birth, or one could contract infections. A woman could construct fistula, which interferes with their genital organs making them unable to control the passage of urine or fesses. After going, FGM women find it challenging to carry out their daily activities due to severe pains. Some find it challenging to move around, sit, or bend. To some, the process might lead to problems during menstrual periods such as difficulty in passing blood, or irregular menstrual circle.


Internationally, FGM is regarded as a violation of females’ human rights. This reflects deeply to gender inequality and represents a form of extreme discrimination against women. It is an act always committed against children and it violates their rights. Such activity abuses an individual’s privileges to health, right to be free from torment, security and physical respectability, the brutal treatment, and the privilege to life when the process leads to death.

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