They are among more than 125 million women alive today who underwent FGM as children. There is no religion that teaches FGM. It is a cultural practice that is centuries old and today continues in 28 African countries and in certain communities in Asia and the Middle East.

As international awareness has spread, many countries have banned the ritual. Cutting ceremonies are considered a rite of passage, and the ritual is thought to preserve chastity, improved marriage prospects, and discourage promiscuity.

The surgery is very important for women, particularly because there are medical complications as a result of FGM obstructed bladder infections, urinary tract infections, cysts that are contained because the tissue has been cut off and then covered.

We need to look at a sensual or sexual sense as being a basic human sense. The United Nations has listed it as a basic human right. You could live without the sense of taste but imagine if there was an operation that lasted one hour where we could return your sense of taste, wouldn’t that be worth it?