Female Genital Mutilation in Mauritania

FGM in Mauritania

One of the questions asked at the FGM panel discussion was for more information about how Mauritania came out with a fatwa against FGM.  I promised to blog about the answer and rather than plagiarising, wanted to direct you to this article on alertnet by George Fominyen.  Mauritania is in West Africa – a huge country that gets little by way of press or interest. FGM prevelance is around 65%.

The role of religion in FGM

It is so heartening that religious leaders are taking the lead in banning FGM. At the panel, there was a discussion about being clear that the Quran does not in any way support female genital mutilation.

My response was that whilst we know this is clear, there are still many communities where Imams and others preach that it IS in the Quran.  In a way, it seems that people appropriate FGM wherever there is a need to control women and particularly control their desire. There is a wonderful bit in the film “Mrs Goundo’s Daughter” where two imams are interviewed – one simply says that it is not in the Quran, the other points to the fact that unless girls are cut, they will “drive themselves crazy with desire.”