There must be
a way we can
Throughout history, customs harmful to women’s health have
been practiced in order to make women seem more attractive
or likely to marry. For example, in some European communities,
a woman was thought to be more beautiful if she had a very
small waist. So starting when they were girls, women were
forced to wear a band of stiff cloth called a ‘corset’ tied so tightly
around the waist and hips it sometimes broke their rib bones,
and kept them from breathing or eating properly. It was
very difficult for them to do anything but sit still or walk slowly.
And in parts of China, a woman had higher status if she had
very tiny feet. So the bones of some girls’ feet were broken and
their feet tightly wrapped in cloth so that when they became
women, their feet were deformed and they were unable to do
more than walk slowly.
These customs have been stopped, but in some parts of
the world, other customs continue. Female genital cutting is
one of them. It is practiced in many communities of Africa, in
some communities in the Middle East, and in a small number of
communities in Southeast Asia. It involves cutting part of a girl’s
or woman’s genitals. Female genital cutting is practiced for a
variety of reasons, most of them based on culture and tradition.
It is often a cause for great celebration in the community.
Female genital cutting does not stop a woman’s need for love
and companionship or affect her moral behavior. But it does
interfere with her normal body functions, and can harm her
relationship with her husband or partner. Female genital cutting
also causes many health problems, and some of these problems
can lead to lasting harm or death.
this practice is
➤ In some
girl must be cut
before she can
become a wife and
mother and, in
some cases, to
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012