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Stop female genital mutilation: appeal to the international dermatologic community

Authors

  • Aldo Morrone MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Servizio di Medicina Preventiva delle Migrazioni, del Turismo e di Dermatologia Tropicale, Istituto San Gallicano – IRCCS, Roma, Italy, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Charles University, 2nd Medical School, Prague, Czech Republic, and Department of Dermatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
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  • Jana Hercogova MD,

    1. From the Servizio di Medicina Preventiva delle Migrazioni, del Turismo e di Dermatologia Tropicale, Istituto San Gallicano – IRCCS, Roma, Italy, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Charles University, 2nd Medical School, Prague, Czech Republic, and Department of Dermatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
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  • Torello Lotti MD

    1. From the Servizio di Medicina Preventiva delle Migrazioni, del Turismo e di Dermatologia Tropicale, Istituto San Gallicano – IRCCS, Roma, Italy, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Charles University, 2nd Medical School, Prague, Czech Republic, and Department of Dermatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
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  • The International Activities Section serves as a forum for opinion exchange for all those dermatologists who, all over the world, do not consent to the construction of artificial boundaries, in our speciality and beyond, established on race, religion, or national origin, and work for giving voice to the most vulnerable populations.

    Contributions are welcome and should conform to the standard format of Commentary, Report, or Review. Manuscripts will undergo standard editorial procedures. Please submit all material to: Torello M. Lotti, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of Florence, Via Alfani, 37, 50121 Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055 2758662, Fax: +39 055 2758329, E-mail: tlotti@unifi.it

Aldo Morrone, MD, Istituto San Gallicano, Via di San Gallicano 25/a, 00153 Roma, Italy. E-mail: morrone@ifo.it

Abstract

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a traditional cultural practice, but also a form of violence against girls, which affects their lives as adult women. FGM comprises a wide range of procedures: the excision of the prepuce; the partial or total excision of the clitoris (clitoridectomy) and labia; or the stitching and narrowing of the vaginal orifice (infibulation).

The number of girls and women who have been subjected to FGM is estimated at around 137 million worldwide and 2 million girls per year are considered at risk. Most females who have undergone mutilation live in 28 African countries.

Globalization and international migration have brought an increased presence of circumcised women in Europe and developed countries. Healthcare specialists need to be made aware and trained in the physical, psychosexual, and cultural aspects and effects of FGM and in the response to the needs of genitally mutilated women. Health education programs targeted at immigrant communities should include information on sexuality, FGM, and reproduction. Moreover, healthcare workers should both discourage women from performing FGM on their daughters and receive information on codes of conduct and existing laws. The aim is the total eradication of all forms of FGM.

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