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Eritrea Bans Female Circumcision

as three undergo the process, but the age at which the operation is performed vary according to country and culture.

Health workers say that the operation is often carried out in unsanitary conditions.

Razor blades, scissors, kitchen knives and even pieces of glass are used, often on more than one girl, which increases the risk of infection.

Anesthesia is rarely used.

Some girls die as a result of hemorrhaging, septicemia and shock.

It can also lead to long-term urinary and reproductive problems.

However, girls who have not been circumcised are considered 'unclean' in many cultures, and can be treated as harlots by other women. Many men believe the folklore which says they will die if their penis touches a clitoris.

Due to health campaigns, female circumcision has been falling in some countries in the last decade. In Kenya, a 1991 survey found that 78% of teenagers had been circumcised, compared to 100% of women over 50. In Sudan, the practice dropped by 10% between 1981 and 1990.

Several governments have introduced legislation to ensure the process is only carried out in hospitals by trained doctors.

Other countries such as Egypt have banned the operation altogether.
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