100,000 women undergo genital mutilation in Britain
London, April 22 : About 100,000 women in Britain have undergone female genital mutilations, with some medics in the country offering to carry out the illegal procedure on girls as young as 10, it has been reported.
The Sunday Times' investigators claim to have secretly filmed a doctor, dentist and alternative medicine practitioner who were allegedly willing to perform circumcisions or arrange for the operation to be carried out.
The practice, involving the surgical removal of external genitalia and in some cases the stitching of the vaginal opening, is illegal in Britain. It can invite up to 14-year-imprisonment, the Daily Mail reported.
It is also against the law to arrange female genital mutilation (FGM).
Known as "cutting", the procedure is traditionally carried out for cultural reasons and in Africa and with large numbers of immigration from countries like Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia, it is becoming more common in Britain.
It is believed to be proof of a girl's "purity" when she marries. The victims, however, often suffer in silence and are rarely given anaesthetic.
Research suggests anually up to 6,000 girls in London are at a risk of the potentially fatal procedure, and over 22,000 in Britain as a whole.