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Female genital mutilation (FGM): is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there's no medical reason for this to be done.
It's also known as "female circumcision" or "cutting", and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.
FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts, but can cause ongoing physical and emotional health issues that may affect your work or study. It is illegal in the UK and is child abuse. For more information about FGM and the law, Rights of Women have created a number of fact sheets.
It's very painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health. FGM is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes.
There are no health benefits to FGM.