Sunday, June 22, 2014
Swedish health officials have revealed a stunning scale of female genital mutilation at a school where every girl in a single class had been subjected to the procedure
Sixty cases have been found since March 2014 at a school in Norrkoping. Of the 60, nearly half of the girls had undergone the most extreme form of female circumcision, in which the clitoris and labia are cut off and the vagina is sewn up to leave just a small opening. Sweden was the first Western country to prohibit the cutting of girls' genitals, a practice most prevalent among African and Muslim populations. In 1999, Sweden banned parents from forcing female children to undergo the procedure overseas. "We're working to inform parents that they could face prison if they come back and their children have undergone female genital mutilation," Petra Blom Andersson, student health coordinator in Norrkoping, said. A common practice is for immigrant parents to take their young girls to their home country, where the ritual is performed. Most often it is done with a razor blade or a knife, and without anesthesia.