Female circumcision is a religious rite and is not harmful, whereas other more extreme practices carried out elsewhere, are. “By redrawing the line to separate the harmless and atrocious” a solution can be achieved by “focussing on the types that cause long-term harm and permitting the rest, if carried out by medical personnel.”1 We request the WHO to reconsider their position with regards to female circumcision as a practice distinct from the larger scope of FGM, in order to aid us in ensuring that legitimate circumcision is carried out under medical purview and supervision. This position will lead to a nuanced and practicable definition of true FGM that will aid prevention and eradication campaigns. This will further ensure the safety of all girls, provide transparent solutions, and promote unbiased research into this subject.
Female genital surgeries worldwide should be addressed in a larger context of discussions of health promotion, parental and children’s rights, religious and cultural freedom, gender parity, debates on permissible cosmetic alterations of the body, and female empowerment issues. 2