An chastity. In most African traditional marriages, especially in

An anthropologist can
understand what they are witnessing through learning the language of the group
that they are studying and using storage means that can enable them get an interpreter.
Through patience, the anthropologist will also understand the group better
since patience is an indication of respect in that he/she is willing to wait in
order to acquire the information they are looking for from the respondents.

According to statistics
by the World Health Organization (WHO), at least ninety million women in Africa
have undergone ‘the cut’ and about three million will undergo the same
procedure every year. Female genital mutilation or circumcision is a ritual
that is carried out by traditional circumcisers that involves removal of some
part or all part of the female genital organs. This harmful traditional
practice is believed to control a woman’s sexuality through controlling her libido
and eventually achieving chastity. In most African traditional marriages,
especially in the documented 29 countries, this ritual is considered as a
passage to womanhood. Most communities will not allow a girl to go into
marriage without having undergone this ritual, since they are considered
unclean and the fear that this parts might grow to the size of the male
genitals, thereby necessitating the ritual. Nigeria, with the largest
population in Africa, has the highest cases of female genital mutilation.

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This ritual is harmful
in that it has no recorded medical benefits but instead it exposes the victim
to health risks that include: Hemorrhage where the victim can experience
excessive blood loss that could eventually lead to death, infections due to
sharing of unsterilized instruments, unsafe environments where the act is
carried out and also use of herbs for treatment. The practice also causes
severe pain to the girls and women undergoing it since no anesthetic products
are used. Most victims also suffer from shock due to the excessive pain and
severe blood loss. This shock could be fatal. Victims also experience
difficulties in passing out urine due to swellings and fresh wounds on the
mutilated areas.

FGM is viewed as a
gross violation of the right of women and children. This is because it is done without
their consent hence they are denied a basic right to make independent decisions
concerning their bodies. The exposure to infections also deprives the victims
the right to health. The torture through pain and severe bleeding that could
lead to death denies the victims the right to life and freedom from torture.


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