Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Article first published online: 23 SEP 2012
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): Survey of RANZCOG Fellows, Diplomates & Trainees and FGM/C prevention and education program workers in Australia and New Zealand
Moeed SM, Grover SR
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is traditionally practised in parts of Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia. Migration has brought FGM/C to the attention of health practitioners in industrialised nations. It is not known whether FGM/C procedures are being performed in Australia and New Zealand, where legislation has been passed banning the practice.
To survey RANZCOG Fellows, Trainees and Diplomates, and FGM/C education and prevention program workers, about their experience with women and children affected by FGM/C, specifically to identify whether FGM/C is being performed in Australia or New Zealand.
Electronic survey distributed via e-mail to RANZCOG Fellows, Trainees and Diplomates and FGM/C program workers in Australia and New Zealand between November 2010 and February 2011.
530 responses were received from RANZCOG Fellows, Trainees and Diplomates, with an overall response rate of 18.5%. Thirty-four responses were received from FGM/C program workers. Five RANZCOG respondents and two FGM/C program workers cited anecdotal evidence that FGM/C is being performed in Australia and New Zealand. 21.2% (82) of RANZCOG respondents had been asked to re-suture following delivery, and 11 respondents had done so at least once. Two RANZCOG respondents had been asked to perform FGM/C on a baby, girl or young woman.
There is no conclusive evidence of FGM/C being performed in Australia and New Zealand, either from direct reports or children presenting with complications, although re-suturing post-delivery is occurring. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is most likely that people other than registered health practitioners are performing FGM/C.