Doctorate student in health at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM), María del Mar Pastor Bravo, affirmed that female genital mutilation is widespread. She said that according to the figures from the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), three million girls are mutilated every year.
Currently, female genital mutilation affects a population of approximately 140 million women in the world, but mainly in 29 countries in Africa, where around 92 million girls around 10 years old are a part of this practice, said Pastor Bravo.
Pastor Bravo, who is also a member of the “Nurses for the World” NGO, said that the countries with the most female genital mutilation are Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti, Egypt and Sierra Leone, in which at least 90 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are affected.
According to trends recorded by international organizations like the World Health Organization and UNICEF, 30 million girls are predicted to be at risk to suffer female genital mutilation in the next decade, she said.
However, Pastor Bravo said that the figures are increasing in Europe, Australia Canada and the United States, due to immigration from Africa and Asia.
Pastor Bravo did her doctorate thesis on female genital mutilation of sub-Saharan women living in Spain.
She concluded by saying that nurses should professionally execute safeguarding human rights, identify high-risk situations and develop new knowledge for families that practice this tradition. They should promote family health, so that girls are protected, taken care of and can grow with dignity.