Design and Violence


Amnesty International

Complex campaigning

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or cutting, is a term that encompasses all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. Procedures include the removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glans; removal of the inner and outer labia; and closure of the vulva. The physical and emotional complications and harm inflicted on girls and women who experience FGM is unarguable. However, the practice of FGM is rooted in a mixture of social, cultural, and religious factors, and is therefore a complex and controversial issue. These posters, designed by the Swedish agency Volontaire for Amnesty International, illustrate the stitches and closures used in three of the four different categories of FGM. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in the 29 (mostly African and Middle Eastern) countries where the practice of FGM is concentrated, more than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM. Between April 2015 and March 2016 there were over 5,000 new cases in England. Recognising it as a contravention of human rights, multiple agencies of the United Nations and Amnesty International are, in collaboration with the WHO, leading the charge to end the practice of FGM as part of a larger campaign to eliminate violence against women.

Image: Volontaire (est. 2009) for Amnesty International (est. 1961). Creatives: Malin Åkersten Triumf (Swedish, b. 1976), Yasin Lekorchi (Swedish, b. 1973). Photo: Niklas Alm (Swedish, b. 1986)/Vostro. FGM rose poster. 2009. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of Volontaire. This poster was created for Amnesty International to use for free, worldwide, in campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)