Video: Genital mutilation 'challenging' for Aussie health workers
Health workers in Australia are calling for greater education about the practice of female genital cutting - also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision - as they increasingly treat women living with the procedure.
It is a growing challenge for workers responding to demand for female genital cutting from new arrivals from African countries, where the practice is widespread.
"Twenty years ago it was never spoken of,” Louise Farrell, Chairman of Women's Health at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told SBS World News Australia in a report aired on Sunday night.
"In the last 10 years, with the increase of African immigration, it has become more of an issue and that has led to resource people in most of the tertiary maternity units throughout the country because there is an awareness that this is a problem that is growing in Australia, because of our immigration from Africa," she says.
The topic of female genital cutting is rarely spoken of outside Australia's African communities but Faduma Salah Musse, a migrant from Somalia who was forced to undergo the procedure in her home country when she was just six years old, spoke to World News Australia about her ordeal. She is one of the few women in Australia to ever to speak publicly.
"You bleed, you just cry, you can’t defend yourself,” she said.
"Imagine having an operation, live, without anything. Somebody is cutting your body and you are just lying there hopeless,” she continued. (...)