Categories
Archives Original research

The limited effectiveness of legislation against female genital mutilation and the role of community beliefs in Upper East Region, Ghana.

Reprod Health Matters. 2009 Nov;17(34):47-54. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(09)34474-2.FREE

The limited effectiveness of legislation against female genital mutilation and the role of community beliefs in Upper East Region, Ghana.

Ako MA, Akweongo P.

Navrongo Health Research Centre, Navrongo, Upper East Region, Ghana. maberese@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has long been practised in many communities in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Although the Ghanaian state has a long tradition of supporting women’s rights, it has not been successful in eradicating FGM, despite a law against the practice in an amendment to the Criminal Code in 1994 and the Domestic Violence Act 2003. This qualitative study in the Upper East Region examined the role of the state in stopping the practice of FGM through legal means, and why FGM continues to be practised in the community. In-depth interviews were conducted with six state officials, a circumciser, the president of a women’s advocacy organisation, and semi-structured interviews with 32 community members. Although FGM has been criminalised, political support to ensure that the law is effectively implemented has been lacking. FGM education and eradication must be given more priority and significant funding by the Ghanaian state. For interventions to be effective, legal measures need to be combined with social measures. Communities practising FGM must be involved in the planning and implementation of anti-FGM interventions. Successful eradication of the practice is possible if education and dialogue between state institutions, gender and human rights groups and practising communities is strengthened.

This article can be accessed for free in this LINK

Categories
Archives Blog eBook

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

ABSTRACT

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

Categories
Archives Blog Original research

Vaginal practices: eroticism and implications for women’s health and condom use in Mozambique.

Cult Health Sex. 2008 Aug;10(6):573-85. doi: 10.1080/13691050801999071.LME

Vaginal practices: eroticism and implications for women’s health and condom use in Mozambique.

Bagnol B, Mariano E.

Department of Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. bagnolbrigitte@icon.co.za

ABSTRACT

This paper analyses two female sexual practices in Tete Province, Mozambique: (1) the practice of elongating the labia minora and (2) what is sometimes called ‘dry sex’ involving the insertion of natural and/or synthetic products into the vagina or the ingestion of these products orally. These practices are fundamental to the construction of female identity, eroticism and the experience of pleasure. Notions such as ‘closed/open’, ‘dry/damp’, ‘hot/cold’, ‘heavy/light’, ‘life/death’, ‘wealth/poverty’ and ‘sweet/not sweet’ are central to local understandings of sexual practices and reproduction. These notions may affect the women’s sexual health because they influence preferences for sex without a condom. These practices may also be associated with the alteration of the vaginal flora and vaginal lesions that may make women more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Categories
Archives Blog Original research

Virginity testing in South Africa: re-traditioning the postcolony.

Cult Health Sex. 2006 Jan-Feb;8(1):17-30.

Virginity testing in South Africa: re-traditioning the postcolony.

Vincent L.

Department of Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa. L.Vincent@ru.ac.za

ABSTRACT

Umhlanga is a ceremony celebrating virginity. In South Africa, it is practiced, among others, by the Zulu ethnic group who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu Natal. After falling into relative disuse in the Zulu community, the practice of virginity testing made a comeback some 10 years ago at around the time of the country’s first democratic election and coinciding with the period when the HIV pandemic began to take hold. In July 2005 the South African Parliament passed a new Children’s Bill which will prohibit virginity testing of children. The Bill has been met with outrage and public protest on the part of Zulu citizens. Traditional circumcision rites are also addressed in the new bill but are not banned. Instead, male children are given the right to refuse to participate in traditional initiation ceremonies which include circumcision. This paper asks why the practice of virginity testing is regarded as so troubling to the new democratic order that the state has chosen to take the heavy-handed route of banning it. The paper further asks why the state’s approach to traditional male circumcision has been so different to its approach to virginity testing. Finally, the paper asks what these two challenging cases in the country’s new democracy tell us about the nature of liberal democratic citizenship in South Africa 10 years after apartheid’s formal demise.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Categories
Archives Blog Review

A Tradition in Transition: Factors Perpetuating and Hindering the Continuance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) Summarized in a Systematic Review

Health Care for Women International. DOI10.1080/07399332.2012.721417. Accepted author version posted online: 04 Sep 2012

A Tradition in Transition: Factors Perpetuating and Hindering the Continuance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) Summarized in a Systematic Review

Rigmor C. Berg  & Eva Denison

ABSTRACT

Understanding the forces underpinning FGM/C is a necessary first step to prevent the continuation of a practice that is associated with health complications and human rights violations. To this end, a systematic review of 21 studies was conducted. Based on this review, the authors reveal six key factors that underpin FGM/C: cultural tradition, sexual morals, marriageability, religion, health benefits, and male sexual enjoyment. There were four key factors perceived to hinder FGM/C: health consequences, it is not a religious requirement, it is illegal, and the host society discourse rejects FGM/C. The results show that FGM/C appears to be a tradition in transition.

This article can be accessed for free in this LINK

Categories
Archives Blog Original research

Female circumcision: toward an inclusive practice of care.

Health Care Women Int. 2010 Aug;31(8):686-99.

Female circumcision: toward an inclusive practice of care.

Khaja K, Lay K, Boys S.

School of Social Work, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.
kkhaja@iupui.edu

ABSTRACT

Female circumcision is a cultural tradition that includes cutting of female genitals without medical necessity. Over 130 million girls and women have been circumcised globally. This article reports on partial findings from a qualitative study that examined the lives of Somali Muslim women who were circumcised. A reoccurring theme of resentment toward North American health care practitioners who condemn the women for having experienced the practice of circumcision in their birth country was found. Discussion will include the physical and social stigma, the complex legal aspects, and ways to deal with female circumcision in a culturally competent manner.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Categories
Archives Blog Original research

Isaacs D.: Circumcision

J Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Jan;47(1-2):1. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01960.x.

Editorial: Circumcision.

Isaacs D.

EXTRACT

What is the name of the useless bit at the end of a penis? A man of course, but circumcision is no joke. If you crave controversy, choose a topic concerned with sex or religion. The ancient ritual of circumcision meets both criteria. In the second century BC, tribes on the Red Sea, now Egypt, practised both female and male circumcision. One possible explanation relates to the belief that gods were bisexual and humans, like gods, had both a female and a male soul. The man’s female soul which resided in the prepuce and the woman’s male soul which resided in the clitoris had to be removed for healthy gender development…

This article can be accessed in this LINK.

Categories
Archives Blog News

International agencies call for end to female genital mutilation.

BMJ. 2011 Feb 7;342:d832. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d832.

International agencies call for end to female genital mutilation.

Cui W.

An estimated 100 million to 140 million girls and women worldwide are suffering from the consequences of female genital mutilation, experts from the World Health Organization and the International Organization for Migration told a journalists’ briefing on Friday 4 February.

The agencies called the briefing to publicise the short and long term health problems associated with the practice, in advance of the international day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation (Sunday 6 February).

The once remote practice, associated only with Africa, now threatens more than three million girls each year in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia, and, with global migration, in many Western countries too, WHO experts said. Figures from the European parliament show that some 500 000 women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation …

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Categories
Archives Blog Original research

Dispelling the myths and beliefs toward female genital cutting of woman: assessing general outpatient services at a tertiary health institution in Enugu state, Nigeria.

East Afr J Public Health. 2010 Mar;7(1):64-7.

Dispelling the myths and beliefs toward female genital cutting of woman: assessing general outpatient services at a tertiary health institution in Enugu state, Nigeria.

Ekwueme OC, Ezegwui HU, Ezeoke U.

Reproductive Health Unit, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.

CONTEXT: The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) has continued because it is deeply entrenched in tradition and culture especially in developing countries where the victims are often its strongest proponents. This study aimed at using accurate information to dispel the traditional myths and beliefs about FGM among
woman.
METHODS: Using a before and after intervention evaluation research design, interviewer administered questionnaires were administered to a sample of 100 women drawn by systematic sampling from the General Outpatient Department of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. Information’s on their knowledge,
attitude and behaviour towards FGM were elicited pre-and-post intervention.
RESULTS: Pre-intervention, knowledge of the respondents on the true meaning of FGM was 54% and that of the 6 complications enlisted on average was 22.2%. Seventy (70.0%) believed that FCM is good and should be continued based mainly on culture and tradition (85.7%). Among the 29(29.0%) respondents against FGM,
26(89.7%) and 24(82.8%) said it increases risk of HIV/AIDS and pregnancy complications respectively. Respondents displayed a high negative and stigmatizing attitude toward the uncircumcised women. Seventy-four (74.0%) said they are promiscuous. Additionally, 49% said they are shameful, 14% cursed/outcast while 66% would not recommend them for marriage. Post-intervention, 85% of the respondents now understood full meaning of FGM and  71.3% on the average knew the complications. While only 11% now support FGM, 83% were against the practice. The stigmatizing attitudes held against uncircumcised women decreased significantly from baseline to post-intervention as follows: promiscuous 74% to 22%, shameful 49% to 12%, outcast/cursed 14% to 2%, and not good for marriage from 66% to 19%. The differences in the baseline and post-intervention data on knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of the respondents toward FGM were statistically significant (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Educational intervention programme has been successful used to impact knowledge, change beliefs and negative attitudes of women toward FGM.

There is no LINK to view this article online.

Categories
Archives Blog Original research

Clinical issues in refugee healthcare: the Somali Bantu population.

Nurse Pract. 2011 Jul;36(7):48-53.

Clinical issues in refugee healthcare: the Somali Bantu population.

Parve J, Kaul T.

Medical College of Wisconsin and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, USA.

ABSTRACT

With an estimated 803,500 refugees residing in the United States, many NPs will encounter patients who do not speak, read, or understand English. Many of these patients have challenging health issues such as parasitic diseases and chronic or acute diseases not commonly seen in the United States and NPs will need to be prepared for these challenges.

This article can be purchased in this LINK