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Female genital mutilation (FGM) occurs in many parts of the world, especially in Africa. It is a cultural practice thought to have been established centuries ago, though its origins appear to have been lost in the past. International efforts to eliminate it also have a long history. As early as the 17th century, Christian missionaries and colonial administrations in Africa attempted to prevent the practice. Today, efforts to eradicate FGM are under way within and outside of practicing cultures. This book discusses the definition and types of FGM and explores the common justifications for the practice, along with the incidence in Africa and other continents, global laws, legal issues, rights and religion. Ethical considerations are examined, as are progress and the role of culture. Personal interviews help to expand and enrich the discussion. The book concludes with thoughts on the movement from tradition to cultural evolution.