What is it?

Female genital mutilation, or cutting, is any procedure that involves partial or total removal of, or injury to, the external female genitalia, for non-medical reasons. There are no health benefits to FGC/M and it is considered a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

In Australia the main ethnic groups affected by FGC/M are Egyptian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somali, and Sudanese. Affected women and girls will generally have undergone FGC/M prior to arrival in Australia. It is illegal in Australia to perform this procedure or to remove an Australian resident from Australia for the purpose of FGC/M.

There are many long term complications associated with FGC/M including recurrent urinary tract and vaginal infections, sexual dysfunction, menstrual problems, chronic pain, pregnancy associated consequences and psychological trauma.