Most Americans probably consider female genital mutilation (FGM) to be a problem relegated to Third World countries, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. Yet a new report released by the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau (PRB) indicates that the number of women and girls in the United States who had undergone or who were in risk of being subjected to FGM has more than doubled since 2000 to almost half a million.
According to the PRB's report, most of the women in the U.S. who were at risk of FGM were born in Egypt, Somalia or Ethiopia or were born to parents from those countries.
FGM is the partial or complete removal of a female's external genitalia. It is considered to be a "sacred" ritual by many African tribal communities and by various Islamic sects.
FGM is almost always justified by those communities who practice it as a way to control women's sexuality, and the physical mutilation and the emotional trauma definitely have a devastating effect on women who are subjected to it.
Watch the following clip about FGM taken from our award-winning film Honor Diaries breaks the silence about this issue and other honor-based violence against women.