An article in the Economist magazine has angered anti-FGM campaigners by suggesting that some forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) should be permissible. Campaign groups have condemned the leading article, which argues that allowing "minor" forms of the practice might prevent girls from more extreme harm.
The London-based FGM charity Orchid Project has called the article "grossly irresponsible" and started a petition calling for the Economist to retract its position on FGM.
FGM is defined by the World Health Organisation as procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut, mostly before they reached puberty. FGM has no health benefits and is recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.