In honor of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad 284 families in Jakarta, Indonesia , received money for their daughters participating in a mass circumcision. Winner of numerous awards, photographer Stephanie Sinclair visited this ceremony and presents us these moving photos of the scene. :([caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="9-month-old girl waiting for their turn to the procedure of circumcision."][/caption]
Today female circumcision is common in more than 30 countries, mostly in many Middle Eastern and African countries. Doctors who practice female circumcision say that there are many reasons for this - from religious beliefs to the development of cervical cancer. However, this is not a good enough reason to endanger a woman, and especially child's health. Often the process of healing after circumcision can take a long time and can be uncertain. This procedure can cause bleeding and infertility, and sometimes even lead to death.
In the picture above you can see the families of 284 girls which received money for their daughters participating in a mass circumcision in honor of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Girls and their families gathered in the great hall before the procedure of circumcision, which, by tradition, begins with prayer.
In Asia, female circumcision is still a living tradition among some communities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan and Indonesia. Also it is practiced in the United Arab Emirates, South Yemen, Oman and Bahrain. In Latin America, female circumcision can be found in Brazil, Eastern Mexico and Peru.
One of the girls after the circumcision procedure. Doctors put her special clothes, but this is no guarantee of a fast and smooth healing of incisions.
Doctors use the scissors to cut the hood and the head of the clitoris. World Health Organization considers this unnecessary ritual and condemns such practices.
In some countries only after circumcision a girl can get married and wear jewelry. In the photo: the girl is getting prepared for the procedure of circumcision.
In some countries where circumcision is practiced, it is believed that if the woman does not undergo this procedure, she is unclean - she is always too excited and can not properly take care of the house. There is also, a belief that uncircumcised women can not bear a boy.
The main reason for female circumcision is a religion. In some communities, it is thought that uncircumcised girls can't properly clean their genitals after a urination, and a prayer of the "unclean" people can not be heard.
Since 1997, female circumcision is forbidden in Egypt: with the exception of cases of "medical necessity". Some doctors continue to do the operation, using this excuse. The operation performed clandestinely by a midwife is cheaper than the one done by a doctor in a clinic. This is why many people chose this cheaper option that is often fatal since performed without any disinfection or anesthesia.