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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Female genital mutilation 'may be occurring in the Maldives'

November 1, 2011
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstretics
Paul Robertson

Worries have emerged that female genital mutilation could be being practised in the Maldives, the local Minivan News has revealed.

A Health Ministry insider from the Department of Gender and Family Protection told the publication there have been reports girls are being circumcised, although the news provider was not able to find conclusive evidence of this on a trip to Addu Atoll, where the act was thought to be being perpetrated.

The country's vice-president Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan was quoted by the information source as saying: "Mostly this is a failure of education ... many students receive free offers to go to madrassas in places like Pakistan, where they learn very traditional values."

Female genital mutilation was thought to have stopped in the Maldives in the 80s and 90s and the deputy health minister Fathimath Afiya told the Minivan News there were no official reports of the practice occurring but non-governmental organisations have raised their concerns.

GPs in the UK were recently urged by chairman of the British Medical Association's Ethical Committee Dr Tony Callard to look out for signs a girl may have been circumcised, particularly those who are from countries where the act is more prevalent, such as Iraq, Nigeria and Ethiopia, healthcare magazine Pulse reported.

To read the full article on the FIGO website, click here