Everyone loves the party game/icebreaker “two truths and a lie.”
Let’s see what you know about the important, and underreported, problem of Female Genital Mutilation. Can you spot which of the following statements is a lie?
A) Female Genital Mutilation has no health benefits.
B) Female Genital Mutilation is only a problem in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia – women in America aren’t at risk of FGM.
C) Female Genital Mutilation isn’t currently included in the Violence Against Women Act.
A) True: The World Health Organization defines female genital mutilation as the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia for nonmedical reasons, which they detail has no health benefits, and in fact, results in lasting physical injury and can even result in the death of the girls and women who undergo the procedure.
B) Lie: While FGM is most common in Africa, the Middle East and Asia—where a jaw dropping 200 million girls and women have undergone the procedure—young women around the globe are at risk. In fact, according to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 513,000 women and girls in the U.S. have experienced or are at risk of mutilation. In 2017, three medical practioners in Michigan faced trial for performing FGM on girls living in America. There are still 15 states that lack laws against FGM.
C) True: Currently the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) does not address female genital mutilation. Congress is working to reauthorize VAWA and considering making funding through VAWA available to those working to spread awareness and prevent FGM.
Learn more about this important issue here.