New code to uncover female genital mutilation
A new diagnosis code introduced into Swedish healthcare this month will make it possible for the authorities to trace the extent of female genital mutilation here.
“We’ve needed a diagnosis code for genital mutilation,” says Malin Ahrne of the National Board of Health and Welfare. “Today genital mutilation can be hidden under other codes for the abdomen. Now we’ll be able to see much more clearly how many women are been cared for after previously being subjected to genital mutilation.”
Female genital mutilation has been illegal in Sweden since 1982. Since 1999 it’s also been against Swedish law if the violation occurs in another country. The Board of Health and Welfare believes that up to 40,000 women and girls in Sweden may have been subjected to genital mutilation.
The practice, usually carried out on young girls, is banned by international human rights conventions and illegal in most countries. But it is remains common in parts of Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen.