US paediatricians backflip on female ritual cuts
THE American Academy of Pediatrics has retracted a controversial statement that many experts believed had endorsed female genital cutting.
The academy’s Committee of Bioethics precipitated wide-spread criticism after releasing a statement earlier this year that suggested performing a “ritual nick” in which the clitoral skin is incised could satisfy ceremonial aspects of the tradition.
The statement suggested that such an act was “no more of an alteration than ear piercing”.
Tania Bien-Aimé, president of the human rights organisation Equality Now, which focuses on girls and women, said the statement had defied decades of hard work to eradicate female genital mutilation.
In response, the academy released a new statement announcing that it did not endorse the practice.
The organisation has since withdrawn the committee’s report and is currently rewriting the entire document.
The Lancet 2010; 376:15