[Study of a custom in Somalia: the circumcision of girls

Med Trop (Mars). 1995;55(3):238-42.

[Study of a custom in Somalia: the circumcision of girls].  [Article in French] 

Bayoudh F, Barrak S, Ben Fredj N, Allani R, Hamdi M.

Service de Pédiatric, l’Hôpital Principal d’Instruction des Armées Tunisiennes, Tunis, Tunisie.

Female circumcision and infibulation is a common practice in parts of Africa. The present report describes the results of a study conducted in Somalia during Operation “Restore Hope”. Using pre-defined questionnaire, a total of 300 women and 70 men were interviewed in order to evaluate the prevalence of this practice  in Somalia, the procedures used, and the psychologic implications for the population. Fully 100% of the women interviewed had been circumcized and 80% had  undergone infibulation. In most cases the procedure had been performed before the age of 10 years. Infection, hemorrhage and double episiotomy were reported by 60%, 20%, and 10% of responders respectively. All but 10 responders expressed support for the practice and many had already had the procedure performed in their children. The findings of this study demonstrate that the practice remains  widespread in Somalia where a large proportion of the population is favorable despite the fearful childhood memories of many women.

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