Agency for Culture and Change Management ACCM, Sheffield

  • ACCM Sheffield is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of African women and girls wherever they reside.
  • ACCM Sheffield promotes action to stop harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriages, which violate the human rights of women and girls and adversely affects their health and well-being. (Training).
  • ‘ACCM is committed to promoting good culture and advocating good change to improve human life’ … (full text about).

Where; WHO; Events; FGM act 2003; Justifications; Help, advice; SupportLinks;
Address (1 of 2): ACCM Sheffield, Sorby House, 42 Spital Hill, Sheffield S4 7LG, UK;

Facts about FGM: Female genital mutilation (FGM) constitutes all procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that between 100 and 132 million girls and women have been subjected to FGM.  Each year, a further 2 million girls are estimated to be at risk of the practice. Most of them live in African countries, a few in the Middle East and Asian countries, and increasingly in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada.

Depending on the degree of mutilation, FGM can have a number of short-term health implications:

  • severe pain and shock
  • infection
  • urine retention
  • injury to adjacent tissues
  • immediate fatal haemorrhaging

Long-term implications can entail:

  • extensive damage of the external reproductive system
  • uterus, vaginal and pelvic infections
  • cysts and neuromas
  • increased risk of vesico vaginal fistula
  • complications in pregnancy and child birth
  • psychological damage
  • sexual dysfunction
  • difficulties in menstruation

FGM takes a number of forms, is practised in a variety of countries and has been justified in a number of ways.

FGM is illegal in the UK under the new Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 and under the Children Act 1998. There are laws against FGM in most European, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and in some African countries.

TYPES OF FGM: There are four main types of mutilations:

  • Type I – ‘Sunna’ circumcision, comprising removal of the hood of the clitoris.
  • Type II – Clitoridectomy (also known as excision), consists of removal of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora. This constitutes 80% of mutilations performed.
  • Type III – Infibulation (also known as pharaonic circumcision) entails removal of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora with narrowing / stitching of the vaginal opening. This is the extreme form of FGM, involving removal of almost 2/3rds of the female genitalia. This constitutes 15% of mutilations performed.
  • Type IV – Unclassified: pricking / piercing / incising the clitoris and / or labia, cauterisation by burning of clitoris and surrounding tissues; scraping (angurya cuts) of the vaginal orifice or cutting (gishiri cuts) of the vagina to cause bleeding or herbs into the vagina with the aim of tightening or narrowing the vagina; any other procedure which falls under the definition of FGM given above.

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