International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 2003 Sept;82(3):251-261
Female genital mutilation: have we made progress?
Toubia NF, Sharief EH
RAINBO (Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women), London, UK
Interest curtailing the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) has increased in the past 20 years. Although the political and legal environment towards the practice is more hostile, this awareness has yet to translate itself to measurable changes in prevalence. At the local level activities are shifting from a clinical, health risk, model to an understanding of the phenomenon in its social context. Under patriarchal structures of social control of sexuality and fertility, women and girls are the primary social group to suffer from as well as to perpetuate the practice of FGM. With appropriate investments in psychological and economic empowerment, women are also the most likely group to resist the practice.