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[Female genital mutilation meets Swedish health care. Female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination of women in the world]

Lakartidningen. 2001 May 16;98(20):2470-3.

[Female genital mutilation meets Swedish health care. Female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination of women in the world]. [Article in Swedish]

Andersson C.

Värnamo sjukhus. millibus@hotmail.com

About 27,000 women from countries in which female genital mutilation (FGM) is a common practice are presently living in Sweden. This means that FGM is a phenomenon that directly affects the Swedish health care system. Knowledge and understanding of the background, meaning and consequences of FGM are a prerequisite for effective prevention, proper clinical handling and supportive reception of the women. To avoid a stigmatizing reception it is also important to understand the situation of genitally mutilated women, and to become aware of the identity crisis many of them experience when they come to Sweden and lose their identity as “normal” women. It is essential to remember that female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination affecting girls and women around the world. This discrimination knows no national or cultural borders and varies in expression and extent. In order to offer optimal care and reception of women who have been socialized into a gender role that is often seen as completely different from the gender role that Swedish society is said to embrace, it is of the utmost importance to first take a critical look beneath the veil of alleged gender equality of Swedish women.

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