Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2017 Feb;136 Suppl 1:79-82. doi:10.1002/ijgo.12052.
Health information interventions for female genital mutilation.
Smith H, Stein K.
Providing information and education to women and girls living with female genital mutilation (FGM) could be an important influence on their healthcare-seeking behavior. Healthcare providers also need adequate knowledge and skills to provide good quality care to this population. Recent WHO guidelines on managing health complications from FGM contain best practice statements for health education and information interventions for women and providers. This qualitative evidence synthesis summarizes the values and preferences of girls and women living with FGM, and healthcare providers, together with other evidence on the context and conditions of these interventions. The synthesis highlights that healthcare providers lack skills and training to manage women, and women are concerned about the lack of discussion about FGM with providers. There is a need for more training for providers, and further research to understand how health information interventions may be perceived or experienced by women living with FGM in different contexts.
Determinants of support for female genital cutting among ever-married women in Egypt
Suzuki C, Meeker D
This study examines the effect of exposure to communication messages on support for femalegenital cutting (FGC) in Egypt. Data from the 2005 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey are analysed using logistic regression (n=19,106; ever-married women aged 15–49). The analysis reveals that high levels of exposure to FGC-related media messages are essential in reducing support for FGC. Women exposed to two or more FGC media messages are 1.6 times more likely than unexposed women to support discontinuing FGC. Moreover, women’s belief that men want the practice discontinued, and their belief that FGC can cause fatal complications, are both positively associated with women’s support for discontinuing FGC. By contrast, women’s belief that FGC is an important part of religion, and their belief that FGC prevents adultery, are negatively associated with women’s support for discontinuing FGC. Almost identical factors affect women’s intention to circumcise their daughters. High exposure to FGC-related messages, and women’s belief that men want the practice discontinued, are negatively associated with the outcome. Women’s belief that FGC is an important part of religion, and their belief that FGC prevents adultery, are positively associated with it. Women’s belief that a husband prefers a circumcised wife is not associated with women’s intention to circumcise their daughters after controlling for all other variables in the model. Given that high level of exposure to FGC-related messages is key in reducing support for FGC, communication campaigns should be continued and intensified. Campaigns should also aim to change men’s perception and support for the practice.
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2012. DOI: 10.1002/hast.81. Dec 2012 42(6)19–27
Seven Things to Know about Female Genital Surgeries in Africa
By The Public Policy Advisory Network on Female Genital Surgeries in Africa
Starting in the early 1980s, media coverage of customary African genital surgeries for females has been problematic and overly reliant on sources from within a global activist and advocacy movement opposed to the practice, variously described as female genital mutilation, female genital cutting, or female circumcision. Here, we use the more neutral expression female genital surgery. In their passion to end the practice, anti-mutilation advocacy organizations often make claims about female genital surgeries in Africa that are inaccurate or overgeneralized or that don’t apply to most cases.
The aim of this article—which we offer as a public policy advisory statement from a group of concerned research scholars, physicians, and policy experts—is not to take a collective stance on the practice of genital surgeries for either females or males. Our main aim is to express our concern about the media coverage of female genital surgeries in Africa, to call for greater accuracy in cultural representations of little-known others, and to strive for evenhandedness and high standards of reason and evidence in any future public policy debates. In effect, the statement is an invitation to actually have that debate, with all sides of the story fairly represented.
Egyptian ever-married women’s attitude toward discontinuation of female genital cutting.
Department of Primary Health Care, Ministry of Health (Headquarters) Dubai, PO Box 1853, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. firstname.lastname@example.org
INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to examine Egyptian ever-married women’s beliefs and attitude toward the discontinuation of female genital cutting (FGC). We also examined the significant sources of information which the women with positive attitude were exposed to the year prior to the survey. METHODS: In a national representative community-based sample of 15,573 ever-married Egyptian women, the intention to continue the practice of FGC and other sociodemographical variables were collected from the 2000 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey data. A secondary in-depth analysis was conducted on the data in order to investigate the women’s attitude and its associated factors. RESULTS: Only 12.4 percent of the sample intended to discontinue the practice. The logistic regression models showed that women with a positive attitude to discontinue the practice believed that FGC was not an important part of religious traditions, that husbands did not prefer a cut wife, and that FGC reduced sexual desire. The most significant sources of information related to a positive attitude to discontinue the practice were community discussions, the mosques or churches and the newspapers. CONCLUSION: The aforementioned sources of information are related to the social and religious aspects of women in the Egyptian community. In order to change women’s attitude toward the discontinuation of this unhealthy practice, communication rather than passive learning is needed.
[Need for more research on female circumcision. Lack of communication between women and men conserves the traditional practice]. [Article in Swedish]
Almroth L, Almroth-Berggren V, Bergström S.
Barnkliniken, Centralsjukhuset i Kristianstad. email@example.com
Several studies in cultures in which FGM is widely performed have shown an emerging questioning of the value of performing the procedure, especially among the younger generations. Traditionally the practice has been said to be carried out by women in order to satisfy men. Recent research findings, however, indicate that men may have attitudes and preferences strikingly different from what has been ascribed to them in the literature. Thus men may play an important and positive role in future work to counteract the practice. Reinfibulation after delivery implies repeated genital mutilation. Despite this, reinfibulation has attracted little research, and not very much is known about the practice. There is a need for systematic research about the extent of complications of FGM, especially long-term effects including effects on pregnancy, delivery and the newborn child. Our experiences from research on FGM in Sudan indicate that research findings might be very useful in intervention programs.
[Female genital mutilation meets Swedish health care. Female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination of women in the world]. [Article in Swedish]
Värnamo sjukhus. firstname.lastname@example.org
About 27,000 women from countries in which female genital mutilation (FGM) is a common practice are presently living in Sweden. This means that FGM is a phenomenon that directly affects the Swedish health care system. Knowledge and understanding of the background, meaning and consequences of FGM are a prerequisite for effective prevention, proper clinical handling and supportive reception of the women. To avoid a stigmatizing reception it is also important to understand the situation of genitally mutilated women, and to become aware of the identity crisis many of them experience when they come to Sweden and lose their identity as “normal” women. It is essential to remember that female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination affecting girls and women around the world. This discrimination knows no national or cultural borders and varies in expression and extent. In order to offer optimal care and reception of women who have been socialized into a gender role that is often seen as completely different from the gender role that Swedish society is said to embrace, it is of the utmost importance to first take a critical look beneath the veil of alleged gender equality of Swedish women.
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2010, Vol. 30, No. 6 , Pages 553-558
Obstetric care at the intersection of science and culture: Swedish doctors’ perspectives on obstetric care of women who have undergone female genital cutting
Widmark C, Leval A, Tishelman C, Ahlberg BM
Providing healthcare for women having undergone female genital cutting can present challenges. The women might require special obstetric care, including an anterior episiotomy (defibulation) for infibulated women. This paper explores how Swedish doctors caring for these women describe, explain and reason about their care and relevant policies in a Swedish context. A qualitative study was carried out with 13 chief/senior obstetricians and seven senior house officers. There was little consensus among the interviewed doctors on what constitutes good obstetric care for women with FGC or how care should be provided. Major problems include: inconsistent policy and praxis; uncoordinated care trajectories; diffuse professional role responsibilities; difficulties in monitoring labour and fetal status; and inhibited communication. The data highlight the need for increased awareness and reflective praxis both on the part of individual practitioners, and on an organisational level, which takes account of the special needs of different users.