Afr J Reprod Health. 2014 Jun;18(2):22-35.
Reflections on female circumcision discourse in Hargeysa, Somaliland: purified or mutilated?
Vestbøstad E, Blystad A.
In communities where female circumcision is carried out, increasingly large segments of the population have been exposed to strong arguments against the practice. This study aimed to explore diverse discourses on female circumcision and the relationship between discourses and practice among informants who have been exposed both to local and global discourses on female circumcision. A qualitative study was carried out in 2009/10 in Hargeysa, Somaliland, employing interviews and informal discussion. The main categories of informants were nurses, nursing students, returned exile Somalis and development workers. The study findings suggest that substantial change has taken place about perceptions and practice related to female circumcision; the topic is today openly discussed, albeit more in the public than in the private arena. An important transformation moreover seems to be taking place primarily from the severe forms (pharaoni) to the less extensive forms (Sunna).