1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Ethiopia

British doctors on genital mutilation

British doctors must protect girls from ethnic minorities against genital mutilation, particularly young women from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, the British Medical Association (BMA) said on Monday. The BMA’s head of ethics, Professor Vivienne Nathanson, said in a statement that female genital mutilation “is a practice that causes girls and women serious health and psychological problems”, Reuters said on 20 August. With the dispersal of asylum seekers across the country, the BMA said it was essential for doctors to explain that the practice is illegal and that parents insisting on carrying it out may be restrained by the authorities. If a doctor feared a girl might be taken abroad, it might be necessary to initiate child protection proceedings, the BMA said. It also warned that reinfibulation after childbirth must be rejected. Genital mutilation involves partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia for cultural reasons.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Help make quality journalism about crises possible

The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.


Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story. 


We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises. Become a member of The New Humanitarian today

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.