I started reading more about FGM in Arabic and English and noticed that books use different terms in English and Arabic. The terms are never consistent and the literature is confusing. Further research on the UN campaigns and the terms used in English were always different to Arabic. There are even cases where the UN uses ‘‘mutilation’’ in English and ‘‘purification’’ in Arabic. There are others terms too, “circumcision”, “excision”, “cutting”, “damaging”. Every term has its own political, religious and social connotation. There is a need for this to be explored.
I have translated and interpreted for various organisations such as the United Nations, UNICEF, Pan African Parliament, universities and ministries across Africa. However, I am just one of the many new voices who are speaking out against FGM.
My aim is to have ‘‘female genital mutilation” as adopted by the UN and its agencies and for this term to be the one and only term used in all publications, while using the equivalent term in Arabic "Batr al Aadaa al Tansolya lel ontha". The Arabic term has the same gravity and connotation as the English term.
The UN has meetings on regular bases then publishes documents in English to be translated into the UN official languages on annual basis. Every year the UN releases between thirty and sixty publications. The research data will focus on the UN publications from the UN online library in English and Arabic, for the past twenty years since the adoption of the English term “Female Genital Mutilation”.