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Comment: Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome

Lancet. 2006 June;367(9525):1799 – 1800

Comment: Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome

Eke N, Nkanginieme KEO

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In today’s Lancet, the WHO study group report a multicentre prospective study of the obstetric outcome in women who have had genital mutilation. Their study strengthens the evidence base about complications of such mutilation. For a subject with many important confounding factors, we congratulate the researchers for the study design and tenacity in execution. The finding of a causal relation between complications and type of mutilation indicates that the more brutal the type of procedure, the worse the complication…

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Nahid Toubia

Lancet. 2007 Mar;369(9564):819

Nahid Toubia

Shetty P

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If Nahid Toubia were a city, she would be New York—dynamic, intellectual, and humorous. Ironically though, Toubia herself isn’t the city’s biggest fan. Over lunch in central London, she says she prefers calm environments to counteract her ferocious inner energy. It was this drive that led Toubia, the founder and director of the Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO), to become the first female surgeon in Sudan.

When she returned to Sudan in 1985 after surgical training in the UK, state health care was so bad that people were dying of illnesses as treatable as asthma because the hospitals had no oxygen. Toubia set up her own clinic to offer emergency care, but the country’s political instability would force her to leave again within a few years—this time for good. Convinced that her life may be under threat, she returned to the UK, then did a stint at New York’s Population Council in 1990, at a time of growing global focus on women’s reproductive health and rights…

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Africa battles to make female genital mutilation history

Lancet. 2007 Mar;369(9567):1069 – 1070

Africa battles to make female genital mutilation history

Wakabi W.

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During the past 2 years, substantial progress has been made in changing attitudes towards female genital mutilation in countries such as Guinea, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, and Senegal. But the practice remains widespread across Africa. Wairagala Wakabi reports.

In Guinea, where 97% of all women undergo female genital mutilation, about 150 communities made a declaration to collectively abandon the practice at the beginning of this year. Attitudes towards the harmful procedure are also changing in other countries in Africa such as Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, and Senegal. But despite this growing momentum against the practice, it is still prevalent in these countries and it remains widespread in at least 28 countries on the continent. Poor education and low levels of income among women in African countries, coupled with inadequate governmental support in efforts to eradicate the practice, mean it will take longer to stamp out…

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Female genital mutilation in Egypt

Lancet. 2007 June;369(9576):1858

Female genital mutilation in Egypt

Afifi M

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I would like to add a few comments to the World Report by Wairagala Wakabi (March 31, p 1069).1 Research from Egypt has shown that highly empowered women were eight times less likely to intend female genital mutilation (FGM) for their daughters than those less empowered.2 And although the Naserian Women Group’s experience in income-generating projects is strong evidence of the link between the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG-1) of poverty reduction and MDG-3 of women’s empowerment, it is not enough…

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Bogaletch Gebre: ending female genital mutilation in Ethiopia

Lancet. 2007 June;369(9579):23

Bogaletch Gebre: ending female genital mutilation in Ethiopia

Shetty P

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When women’s rights campaigner Bogaletch Gebre was told by doctors after a car accident in 1987 that she would never walk again, not only did she prove them wrong, she later ran six marathons. This tenacity is a trademark of Gebre, who won the 2007 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights last month at the Global Health Council’s 34th Annual International Conference on Global Health. Since growing up in rural Ethiopia, she has overcome tremendous adversity to become the founder of the African women’s self-help centre Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma (KMG) and has almost single-handedly eradicated the practice of female genital mutilation in Ethiopia. Gebre knows what this feels like, having been circumcised herself as a young teenager: “I could easily be dead like many girls who went through it.”….

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Reports focus on female genital mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan

The Lancet. 2010 Mar;375(9717):794

Reports focus on female genital mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan

Burki T

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Campaigns against female genital mutilation have mainly targeted African nations, where most mutilations occur. Now two reports hope to highlight the issue further afield. Talha Burki reports.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is widespread in Africa but also occurs in Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia; parts of Indonesia and Malaysia; and in specific immigrant communities in North America and Europe. Two new reports—one published by German relief organisation WADI on Feb 6, the other to be issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) later this year—centre on an arena hitherto neglected by researchers and activists: Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kurdish northern Iraq is an autonomous region consisting of the three governorates of Dohuk, Arbil, and Suleymaniya, with a population of about 5·5 million, and several provinces in neighbouring governorates, one of which, Kirkuk, awaits the result of a referendum to determine whether it will become part of Kurdistan.

“Most girls in northern Iraq are likely to have undergone FGM”, concludes the WADI report, which surveyed more than 1400 women across the region. The average rate of FGM was 72·7%, but in some areas was virtually 100%….

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