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Jakarta Post

It's only 'scratching': Religion, tradition preserve female circumcision in Indonesia

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya and Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta and Makassar   /   Sat, September 28, 2019   /  06:31 pm
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According to the WHO, female genital mutilation includes all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other non-medical injury to the female genital organs.(Shutterstock/File)

Fauziah Erwin, 36, is a lawyer based in Makassar, South Sulawesi. While well-educated and possessing a good career, she still holds tradition and religious values very dearly in her life. In the predominantly Muslim province where she grew up and currently lives, female circumcision is commonly performed at a young age. She had it done when she was a little girl, now she is arranging it for her 8-year-old daughter.   Fauziah said she used to object to the procedure, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), as she had read much about its impact on health. She said she was also aware that the WHO had banned the practice. But her mother has passed on religious and moral insights, as well as convincing her that circumcision has no negative impact on her sexual and reproductive health. “My mother said there were great and important messages in the sacred proc...