TAKEN Meeri Koutaniemi
The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 200 million women in the world who have undergone female circumcision. Female genital mutilation is a tradition practiced worldwide in 29 countries. Girls' circumcision has been illegal in Kenya since 2001, but among some tribes such as the Masai people, it is still a valued tradition.
The causes of female genital mutilation include a mix of cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities. The tradition stems from the belief that woman's sexual organs are considered to be impure. FGM is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered proper sexual behavior, linking procedures to premarital virginity and marital fidelity.
Female genital cutting has been widely judged as a procedure against human rights and as a serious violation against women's sexual independence. It reflects deep- rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.