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I LOOKED at the Africapedia data on Female Genital Mutilation in Africa, then by accident went next to the one on Africa in the Happy Planet Index.
Not surprisingly, the majority of the countries that practice FGM are either in Arab North Africa or are Muslim nations. I had always thought that because FGM is traumatic for women, and interferes with the ability of most of them to enjoy regular sexual pleasure (certainly very few of them get orgasms), I imagined that they would terribly miserable.
However, the top 7 countries in Africa in the 2008 Happy Planet Index – Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Djibouti, Mauritania, Senegal (except Senegal) have some of the continent’s highest FGM rates. Also, they score poorly on representation of women in politics. Female folk tend to be treated badly in these countries.
However, if you look at the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Report for 2009, a number of the same FGM-practicing nations are among Africa’s top 15, most notably Egypt.
This would, at first, seem contradictory. On reflection, though, it is not. It would seem, that the amount of money we have in our pockets, and the goods that enables us to buy, make us happier than good sex.