involves the excision of the prepuce with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris.
excision of the prepuce and clitoris together with partial or total excision of the labia minora.
excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, also known as infibulation. This is the most extreme form and constitutes 15 per cent of all cases. It involves the use of thorns, silk or catgut to stitch the two sides of the vulva. A bridge of scar tissue then forms over the vagina, which leaves only a small opening (from the size of a matchstick head) for the passage of urine and menstrual blood.
includes pricking, piercing or incision of the clitoris and/or the labia; stretching of the clitoris and or the labia; cauterisation or burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissues, scraping of the vaginal orifice or cutting (Gishiri cuts) of the vagina and introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina.
There are a number of different terms used to refer to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, the most common ones being:
FORWARD chooses to use the term 'Female Genital Mutilation' as we believe it most accurately depicts what women affected by FGM have undergone, emphasising the gravity of this abuse of women's human rights. For these reasons, worldwide and especially amongst anti-FGM activists, there is an increasing tendency to use the term FGM.
FORWARD is particularly opposed to use of the term female circumcision, which implies that it is the female equivalent of male circumcision. Whilst FORWARD is opposed to genital mutilation or circumcision of any kind, FORWARD rejects the term female circumcision as it does not depict the true nature of FGM and implies that the practice and the consequences of FGM are far less severe than is the case.
|Country||Term used for FGM||Language||Meaning|
|EGYPT||Thara||Arabic||Deriving from the Arabic word 'tahar' meaning to clean / purify|
|Khitan||Arabic||Circumcision - used for both FGM and male circumcision|
|Khifad||Arabic||Deriving from the Arabic word 'khafad' meaning to lower (rarely used in everyday language)|
|ETHIOPIA||Megrez||Amharic||Circumcision / cutting|
|Absum||Harrari||Name giving ritual|
|ERITREA||Mekhnishab||Tigregna||Circumcision / cutting|
|KENYA||Kutairi||Swahili||Circumcision - used for both FGM and male circumcision|
|Kutairi was ichana||Swahili||Circumcision of girls|
|NIGERIA||Ibi / Ugwu||Igbo||The act of cutting - used for both FGM and male circumcision|
|Sunna||Mandingo||Religious tradition / obligation - for Muslims|
|SIERRA LEONE||Sunna||Soussou||Religious tradition/ obligation - for Muslims|
|Bondo||Temenee||Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims|
|Bondo / Sonde||Mendee||Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims|
|Bondo||Mandingo||Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims|
|Bondo||Limba||Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims|
|SOMALIA||Gudiniin||Somali||Circumcision used for both FGM and male circumcision|
|Halalays||Somali||Deriving from the Arabic word 'halal' ie. 'sanctioned' - implies purity. Used by Northern & Arabic speaking Somalis.|
|Qodiin||Somali||Stitching / tightening / sewing refers to infibulation|
|SUDAN||Khifad||Arabic||Deriving from the Arabic word 'khafad' meaning to lower (rarely used in everyday language)|
|Tahoor||Arabic||Deriving from the Arabic word 'tahar' meaning to purify|
|CHAD - the Ngama||Bagne||Used by the Sara Madjingaye|
|Sara subgroup||Gadja||dapted from 'ganza' used in the Central African Republic|
|GUINEA-BISSAU||Fanadu di Mindjer||Kriolu||'Circumcision of girls'|
|Fanadu di Omi||Kriolu||'Circumcision of boys'|
|GAMBIA||Niaka||Mandinka||Literally to 'cut /weed clean'|
|Kuyango||Mandinka||Meaning 'the affair' but also the name for the shed built for initiates|
|Musolula Karoola||Mandinka||Meaning 'the women's side' / 'that which concerns women'|
A form of FGM type 4 that involves the scraping of tissue around the vaginal opening.
Refers to excision of the clitoris.
(sometimes known as or referred to as deinfibulation or defibulation or FGM reversal): The surgical procedure to open up the closed vagina of FGM type 3.
Refers to removal of the clitoral hood, with or without removal of part or all of the clitoris.
Refers to FGM type 3 (see above), the most extensive form of FGM.
(sometimes known as or referred to as reinfibulation or re-suturing): The re-stitching of FGM type 3 to re-close the vagina again after childbirth (illegal in the UK as it constitutes FGM).
the traditional name for a form of FGM that involves the removal of the prepuce of the clitoris only. The word 'sunna' refers to the 'ways or customs' of the prophet Muhammad considered (wrongly in the case of FGM) to be religious obligations. Studies show however, that the term 'sunna' is often used in FGM practicing communities to refer to all forms of FGM, not just FGM that involves only the removal of the hood of the clitoris.