[p798] II. The Importation of FGM to the West

Families migrating from African and Middle Eastern countries carried their traditions and cultural norms with them. As a result, Western nations were faced with enacting their own legislation not only to prohibit the practice of FGM but also to eliminate the underlying causes, such as poverty and male domination. The good news is that Western nations have taken off the blinders and have recognized FGM for what it is--torture. Many Western nations have taken legislative steps to outlaw and punish the practice of FGM on their soil. This awareness and attendant legislation is commendable. However, many of the laws fail to address the worldwide root causes of FGM. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to stem the practice of FGM in the West unless work is done within the countries that continue to explicitly or implicitly require that women be “cut.”