Women’s Sexuality as a Site of Control & Resistance: Views on the African Context

Keynote Address delivered at the International Conference on Bride price under the theme, “Coalition and Action to Safeguard Women and Children in the Family, “under the auspices of the Mifumi Project, February 17, 2004 at Makerere University, KampalaFREELME

Women’s Sexuality as a Site of Control & Resistance: Views on the African Context 

Tamale S

Faculty of Law – Makerere University


…Tutelage begun at puberty just before a girl starts menstruating, when she would “visit the bush” under the tutelage of her Ssenga.,24 Visiting the bush involves a procedure of stretching or elongating the labia minor of a woman. Traditionally, among the Baganda, the meaning attached to this cultural practice was a tightly kept secret that was associated with female enhanced arousal in foreplay. The purported and commonly touted meaning of the elongated labia was that they enhanced erotic pleasure of a man who came in sexual contact with them. Of course this practice was viewed through a completely different light by the imperialists who came across it. They perceived it as a barbaric mutilation of the female genitals and, today it has been condemned and classified as “Type IV FGM”!…

This conference paper can be accessed in this LINK