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The circumcision of women: a strategy for eradication

London, England; Zed Books: 1987.

The circumcision of women: a strategy for eradication

Koso-Thomas 0


Female circumcision is a traditional practice in many parts of Africa that has significant medical consequences. The main arguments in its favor, including cleanliness, aesthetics, improved health and social benefits, are refuted in this monograph. This practice was studied in Sierra Leone, where it affects 90% of females, and is carried out by secret societies. Female initiates are usually in their early teens and must undergo training and participate in elaborate rituals. The health effects vary with the typ of circumcision and the conditions under which it is performed. Immediate consequences include pain, hemorrhage, urinary tract problems, and serious infections. Scar formation leads to late sequelae of dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, pelvic infections and abscesses, hematocolpos, infertility, difficulty urinating, urinary tract infections and anal incontinence and fissures. Female circumcision is also a cause of later reproductive difficulty due to obstructed labor, resulting in several obstetrical complications. Psychological effects differ among women who have undergone it voluntarily, and those who have been forced to undergo this ritual, with the latter suffering much more psychologically. A pilot study of 135 people in Sierra Leone found that a significant number favor female circumcision and believe that it is essential to their culture. This attitude is related to illiteracy. In a survey of 300 women in Sierra Leone, tradition was the most common reason given for circumcision (85%), followed by social identity and religion. Circumcision was related to Muslim religion and inversely related to educational level. Statistical breakdown by tribe, method, complications, age, and attitude regarding circumcision is provided. A detailed strategy for the eradication of female circumcision is outlined.

This book can be accessed in this LINK

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Psycholinguistic approaches to ritual labia minora elongation among the Baganda women of Uganda

Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision. 2006, pp 57-64LME

Psycholinguistic approaches to ritual labia minora elongation among the Baganda women of Uganda 

Villa E., Grassivaro Gallo P


Ritual elongation of the labia minora is a particular expansive modification of the external genitalia exercised for cultural motives (FGM type 4 – WHO 1996). The practice is common among the Baganda women of Uganda, where a variety of terms describe the rite.

Psycholinguistic analysis was conducted both in present day Africa, where elongation of the labia minora results from ritual manipulation, and through the bibliographical accounts of western authors (anthropologists and doctors) from the 1950s/60s.

A semantic polarization results in the linguistic expressions. In Africa, the positive connotation of terms used to describe the rite indicates its substantial valorisation. The vocabulary used by western authors, however, includes reference to aspects of rural Europe suggestive of poverty and ignorance (“apron”), or symbolic ridicule of the manipulated feature, equating it to the ear of a Coker Spaniel (Spaniel ear nymphae).

This book chapter can be purchased in this LINK

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Female genital cutting. Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys.

Afr Popul Dev Bull. 1999 Jun-Jul:26-7.

Female genital cutting. Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys.

[No authors listed]

PIP: This article reports on the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Central African Republic (CAR), Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Mali, Tanzania and Yemen. Evidences from the Demographic and Health Surveys indicate that FGM is widely practiced in these countries. About 9 out of 10 women have had at least some part of their external genitalia removed in Egypt, Eritrea, Mali, and northern Sudan, while in Cote d’Ivoire and the CAR the practice is less common. A comparison of prevalence levels among age groups in women aged 15-49 years revealed little or no decline in FGM; however, the CAR displayed a slight, but continuous, decline in prevalence across age groups. Furthermore, educational level and religion were found to affect the prevalence rate. Also, the 1996 clinical study in Egypt found that more than 70% of the study population had at least part or all of their clitoris and labia minora excised. In Eritrea and Sudan, many women undergo infibulation, the most hazardous and extensive form of female genital cutting, which almost entirely closes off the vaginal opening. The study also showed that women who had undergone the operation had experienced adverse health effects like hemorrhage. Widespread and enduring support for FGM among women was noted in Egypt, Mali, and Sudan; only Eritrea appeared to have a critical mass of opposition to the procedure among the adult population, which suggests an openness to change.

No link found to consult this report online.

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They took me and told me nothing

They took me and told me nothing. Female Genital Mutilation in Iraqi KurdistanFREE

Human Rights Watch


In Iraqi Kurdistan a survey by the Ministry of Human Rights in 2009 suggests that in one district over 40
percent of women and girls aged 11-24 years have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). An
NGO survey covering a wider geographical area gives even higher figures. The practice involves the cutting
out of the clitoris, and is carried out mainly on girls between the ages of three and 12 years at the request of
their female relatives, usually by a traditional midwife using an unsterile razor blade. As Gola S. explains,
girls are often unaware what is about to happen to them, they experience great pain during the procedure
and afterwards, and the practice can have lasting physical, sexual and psychological health consequences.

This article can be accessed in this LINK


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African Sexuality: A reader

Pambazuka Press has published the book “African Sexualities: A Reader”, a collection of research and opinion papers edited by the Ugandese writer Sylvia Tamale.

In this book the following works can be found:

1. Introduction, by Sylvia Tamale

2. Researching and Theorizing Sexualities in Africa, by Sylvia Tamale

3. Doing Research on Sexuality in Africa: Ethical Dilemmas and the Positioning of the Researcher, by Emídio Gune and Sandra Manuel

4. From Minuscule Biomedical Models to Sexuality’s Depths, by Stella Nyanzi

5. Tracks: Researching Sexualities Walking AbOUT the city of Johannesburg, by Zethu Matebeni

6. Dialoguing Culture and Sex: Reflections from the Field, by Amy S Tsanga

7. Subversion & Resistance: Activist Initiatives, by Jane Bennett

8. The ‘Perils’ of Sex and the Panics of Race: The Dangers of Inter-Racial Sex in Colonial Southern Rhodesia, by Oliver Phillips

9. Nudity and Morality: Legislating Women’s Bodies and Dress in Nigeria, by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf

10. “Getting the Nation Talking about Sex”: Reflections on the Politics of Sexuality and ‘Nation-Building’ in Post-Apartheid South Africa, by Deborah Posel

11. Paradoxes of sex work and sexuality in modern- day Uganda, by  Sylvia Tamale

12. Life Story: Love, Power and Resilience, by Daughtie Akoth

13. African LGBTI Declaration, by 14. Poem: Two Kinds of Blue, by Connie Mutua

15. Life Story & Poem: A Night in Zanzibar, by Jessica Horn

16. Poem: False Memory, by Jumoke Verissimo

17. Dear Diary, by Lindiwe Nkutha

18. Poem: Explain, by Hakima Abbas

19. Poem: My Love (for Eudy Simelane), by Musa Okwonga

20. Representing African Sexualities
m by Desiree Lewis

21. Pious Stardom: Cinema and the Islamic Revival in Egypt, by Karim Mahmoud Tartoussieh

22. Intersex: The Forgotten Constituency, by Julius Kaggwa

23. The Chronicle of an Intersexed Activist’s Journey , by Sally Gross

24. Gender Dynamics: A Transsexual Overview, by Audrey Mbugua

25. Barrenness and Sexuality in the Ndau Community, by Rebecca Magorokosho

26. “Osunality” (Or African Eroticism), by Nkiru Nzegwu

27. Politics of naming sexual practices, by Brigitte Bagnol & Esmeralda Mariano LME

28. Fiction: My American Jon, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

29. Life Story: Questions, Questions, by Lucy Nambajjwe

30. Fiction: Penitence—Hurry Hurry No Speed, by Derrick Zgambo

31. Fiction: Love Beads, by Yaba Badoe

32. Poem: Cinnamon, by Gabeba Baderoon

33. Poem: Covert Sexuality, by Coumba Toure

34. Poem: The Dream in the Next Body, by Gabeba Baderoon

35. Poem: Nature’s Dance, by Olivia Coatzee

36. Poem: Untitled, by Juliane Okot Bitek

37. Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, by Beth Maina-Ahlberg and Asli Kulane

38. Family Planning, Contraception and Abortion in Islam, by Sa’diyya Shaikh

39. Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Politics versus the Press in Defense of Reproductive Rights in Zambia, by Wilma Nchito

40. Abortion: a Desperate Measure for Lack of Choice, by Salma Maoulidi

41. Poem: The Shedding of Blood, by Unoma Azuah

42. Ode to my Uterus, by Everjoice J. Win

43. Life Stories: Ob/Gyn Experiences, by Sylvia Tamale

44. Journal Excerpts: Reflections on my Journey with my Womb, by Akabotho Kaluwa

45. Masculinities and Male Sexualities, by Kopano Ratele

46. Multiple Meanings of Manhood Among Boys in Ghana, by Akosua Adomako Ampofo and John Boaten

47. “Mombasa Morans”: Embodiment, Sexual Morality and Samburu Men in Kenya, by George Paul Meiu

48. Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: Putting Homophobia on Trial, by Makau Mutua

49. ‘I am Not Tassa, He is Not a Man Like Other Men’: Feminizing Infertility and Masculinizing Fertility in South Nyanza, 1945-60, by Agnes Odinga

50. Poem: The Phantoms of My Opera, by Lombe Annie Mwambwa

51. Poem: The Kiss, by Frank Chipasula

52. Life Story: The Diamond in The G…., by Kipkemboi [jeffrey moses]

53. Unpacking the [Govern]Mentality of African Sexualities, by Stella Nyanzi

54. Sexuality, Gender and Disability in South Africa, by Washeila Sait, Theresa Lorenzo, Melissa Steyn and Mikki van Zyl

55. The Realities of ‘Choice’ in Africa: Implications for Sexuality, Vulnerability, and HIV/AIDS, by Chi-Chi Undie

56. Poem: Wet Towel, by Lombe Mwambwa

57. Interview: Challenges of Sexuality and Aging in a Barren Woman, by Edith Okiria

58. Poem: AIDS Sting(ma)

59. Sexuality, Spirituality & the Supernatural, by Chimaraoke Izugbara

60. ‘African sex is dangerous!’ renegotiating ‘ritual sex’ in Contemporary Masaka District, Uganda, by Stella Nyanzi, Justine Nassimbwa, Vincent Kayizzi and Strivan Kabanda

61. Sangomahood, Abstinence and Celibacy Among Tangoma in Swaziland, by Hebron Ndlovu

62. Creative Methodological/Pedagogical Approaches, by Mansah Prah

63. Interrogating the Link between Gendered Sexualities, Power and Legal Mechanisms: Experiences from the Lecture Room, by Sylvia Tamale

64. Through Zanele Muholi’s Eyes: Re/imagining Ways of Seeing Black Lesbians, by Pumla Gqola

65. A Radical Technique to Teach Sexual Rights, by Dorothy Aken’ova

66. Song: Laabaan Song, by Marame Gueye

In this LINK you can purchase the digital edition of this book.

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Female genital mutilation : a teacher’s guide. [language: arabic]

Female genital mutilation : a teacher’s guide. [language: arabic]

World Health Organization. Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (Corp. Author)

Cairo; Ed. WHO EMRO: 2003. (146 pags)

This eBook can be downloaded for free in this LINK.

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Islamic ruling on male and female circumcision.

Islamic ruling on male and female circumcision.

Muhammad Lutfi, Al-Sabbagh.

Alexandría; Ed. WHO EMRO, 1996. (46 pags)


A collection of three brief scholarly treatises on male and female circumcision as viewed in the body of Islamic law. Noting the lack of doubt that male circumcision is a legitimate practice, the papers largely address common misunderstandings about the Islamic ruling in the case of daughters. In publishing these treatises, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean aims to issue an authoritative and conclusive statement about the practice of female circumcision in Islamic countries. The first treatise proves with sufficient documented evidence that sayings or actions concerning female circumcision ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad have no authenticity. Noting the many risks involved in female circumcision, the scholar concludes that the practice “cannot be legitimate under Islamic law”, and further concludes that “female circumcision is neither required nor is it an obligation nor a sunna.” The second treatise, on “Pharaonic circumcision”, or infibulation. reviews the harmful effects of this practice and concludes that it is “an odious crime”. The final treatise confirms these views, concluding that “since female circumcision is not something required and no evidence from religious sources proves that it is either an obligation or a sunna, what remains is that it is an absolute damage that has no benefit”

More on this book.

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To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision

Med Law. July 1994;13(7-8):575-622,

To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision



Article 24, paragraph 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of 20 Nov. 1989, stipulates:

States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.

In 1984, the President of the Inter-African Committee stated:

An erroneous idea of Religion has played a key role in maintaining the practice of excision and other practices which tend to relegate the woman to a lower status in relation to the man.

In April 1987, the Vice-President of the Inter-African Committee reiterated:

I request more aggressive tactics to put an end to the practice of infibulation. I call for more active support especially from the religious leaders of Islam after it has been confirmed many times that this practice is contrary to the precept of Islam.

In this Committee’s opinion, religion and Muslim religious leaders play an important role in the matter of female circumcision. The goal of this study is to define this role in male circumcision as well as in female circumcision. We shall on purpose avoid any use of the word Islam, as too abstract a notion, and we shall concentrate on the written sources of Muslim law and the opinions of contemporary Arab authors, mostly of Egyptian origin.

This book can be accessed int his LINK