From the late 1990s the term ‘female genital cutting’ was increasingly used, both in research and by some agencies. The preference for this term was partly due to dissatisfaction with the negative association attached to the term ‘mutilation’, and some evidence that the use of that word was estranging practising communities and perhaps hindering the process of social change for the elimination of female genital mutilation. However, to capture the significance of the term ‘mutilation’ and to give weight to the severity of this phenomenon at the policy level, while, at the same time, using less judgemental terminology for practising communities, the expression ‘female genital mutilation/cutting’ is used by Unicef and UNFPA.
See: female genital mutilation
World Health Organization – WHO (2008). Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation: An Interagency Statement – UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCHR, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO.