Genital circumcision in girls is thought to reduce their temptation to want sex and therefore make them more virtuous, less likely to be unfaithful. But the medical consequences are horrendous. No-one knows the psychological consequences.
For more on this practice please search 'mutilation' on this blog.
Please pray for the end of this horrible practice in all countries.
A BBC investigation has revealed concerns that young girls are being brought to Scotland to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) because the country is seen as a "soft touch".
Agencies claim that families from England and Europe have traveled to Scotland to have their daughters cut. They also said girls living in Glasgow and Edinburgh have undergone FGM in Scotland and the problem is increasing.
The equalities minister said anyone who was aware of FGM had a duty report it. Shona Robison said people who had aided or carried out the procedure, either in Scotland or abroad, faced up to 14 years imprisonment.
FGM takes different forms but traditionally involves the full or partial removal of young girls' genitals for non-medical reasons. The cutting is carried out for a number of reasons but in many areas girls are cut to improve their marriage prospects.
The practice is most common in the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, in some countries in Asia and the Middle East. It has long been associated with countries such as Mali, Somalia and Sudan and some parts of the Middle East.
It is estimated about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
UK legislation to criminalise FGM was introduced in 1985 but since then there has not been a single prosecution. Scottish legislation in 2005 made it illegal to take girls abroad to conduct the practice.
Det Ch Supt Gill Imery of Police Scotland said every daughter born in Scotland to a woman who had undergone FGM should be considered a child protection case. "It most definitely is a form of child abuse and would be investigated as such," she said.
New Scottish government figures, seen by the BBC, revealed that between 1997 and 2011, 2,403 girls were born in Scotland to a mother from an FGM-practicing country. However Det Ch Supt Imery revealed that police had not received a single referral from the health authorities.
The BBC sent Freedom of Information requests about FGM to each of Scotland's 32 local councils and 14 health boards. The majority of health boards were unable to say how many cases they had encountered. Less than a third of the 32 councils had specific local guidelines on FGM and less than 10 cases had been referred to social work.
Police Scotland has also dealt with less than 10 cases this year but none has resulted in a referral to the procurator fiscal.
Det Ch Supt Imery added: "Across Scotland we've dealt with a total of six investigations or incidents in relation to FGM that have resulted in a form of intervention which we hope has prevented children undergoing this procedure, but none of those reports has resulted in an investigation of a crime, or a report to the procurator fiscal.
"We're doing a huge amount of work to raise awareness within our own staff, unexplained absences from school and clearly working with our partners in education to intervene in that way.
"Health also has a significant role to play, and it's through the process of perhaps ante-natal care, or midwifery, that we will actually have tangible evidence of FGM, and that certainly hasn't been reported to us."
Anela Anwar, of Scottish charity Roshni, said: "Because Scotland has been lacking somewhat in a prosecutions, families are coming up from England and Wales into Scotland to have the practice carried out and that is certainly concerning if Scotland is now being viewed as a place that doesn't take the issue of female genital mutilation seriously."
|Ms Baldeh was subjected to FGM as a young child |
and has researched the situation in Scotland
"I was blindfolded," she said. "Some people held my hands, other people held my legs. "I remember I was screaming for my mum and grandmother, to help me. But no-one did."
|"I remember I was screaming for my mum and my grandmother to help me"|
She said: "The UK is behind and among the UK, Scotland is very poor in tackling FGM and supporting victims."
She added: "Because it's getting expensive to take a daughter back home and circumcise or mutilate them, women are putting together money and bringing over someone who can cut the girls and it's cheaper."
UK guidelines state pregnant women should be asked about FGM. However, new research by Ms Baldeh, seen by the BBC, found that pregnant women in Scotland with FGM were not asked about it.
"I spoke to women in Edinburgh and Glasgow who have had children in Scotland within the past three years and I spoke to them about their experience of child birth," she said.
"They were hoping that the health care professionals would ask them if they have undergone FGM and see how they could help them. Unfortunately, all the women that I interviewed were never asked about if they had undergone FGM."
Anyone aware of FGM taking place has a legal and moral duty to report it”.
Dona Milne, NHS Lothian's deputy director of public health and health policy, said: "Every pregnant woman in Lothian is asked whether they have suffered female genital cutting or piercing at their first ante-natal booking appointment.
"We have one gynaecologist and one obstetrician with specialist expertise in treating female genital mutilation and this is part of their annual caseloads.
"We recently carried out a survey of consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists in Lothian which showed that the numbers of people presenting with FGM was very low.
"Despite the low numbers of presentations we offer advice, support and appropriate treatment for individuals who have suffered FGM."
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "As we do not have the details for the cases referred to in the Dignity Alert and Research Forum research, we cannot comment on these individual cases.
"We can however confirm that as part of the routine booking process for pregnant women they are asked if they have had any surgery or piercings which may affect their ability to give birth."
Dignity Alert and Research Forum estimates that in 2009 there were 3,000 women living in Scotland who had been cut. Since then they say the figures have increased.
Sarah McCulloch, director of ACCMUK, a charity set up in response to concerns about girls and women from African, Asian and Middle East backgrounds, said: "I think what we need is a change in approach - the legislation is there.
"In the UK, I think the government, the police, the social services are too politically correct to want to do anything." She said other countries viewed Scotland and England as a "soft touch".
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
About 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating. It can later lead to cysts, infections and infertility, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
The practice is most common in the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, in some countries in Asia and the Middle East.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 18% of all FGM is performed by health care providers, a trend which is increasing.