Tag Archives: Feminism

The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. (Webster New Collegiate Dictionary, 1981)

Injured bodies, damaged lives: experiences and narratives of Kenyan women with obstetric fistula and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.

FREEReprod Health. 2017 Mar 14;14(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0300-y.

Injured bodies, damaged lives: experiences and narratives of Kenyan women with obstetric fistula and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.

Mwanri L, Gatwiri GJ.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is well acknowledged that Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C/C) leads to medical, psychological and sociocultural sequels. Over 200 million cases of FGM/C exist globally, and in Kenya alone, a total of 12,418,000 (28%) of women have undergone FGM/C, making the practice not only a significant national, but also a global health catastrophe. FGM/C is rooted in patriarchal and traditional cultures as a communal experience signifying a transition from girlhood to womanhood. The conversations surrounding FGM/C have been complicated by the involvement of women themselves in perpetuating the practice. METHODS: A qualitative inquiry employing face-to-face, one-on-one, in-depth semi-structured interviews was used in a study that included 30 women living with obstetric fistulas in Kenya. Using the Social Network Framework and a feminist analysis we present stories of Kenyan women who had developed obstetric fistulas following prolonged and obstructed childbirth. RESULTS: Of the 30 participants, three women reported that health care workers informed them that FGM/C was one of the contributing factors to their prolonged and obstructed childbirth. They reported serious obstetric complications including: the development of obstetric fistulas, lowered libido, poor quality of life and maternal and child health outcomes, including death. Fistula and subsequent loss of bodily functionalities such as uncontrollable leakage of body wastes, was reported by the women to result in rejection by spouses, families, friends and communities. Rejection further led to depression, loss of work, increased sense of apathy, lowered self-esteem and image, as well as loss of identity and communal sociocultural cohesion. CONCLUSION: FGM/C is practised in traditional, patriarchal communities across Africa. Although the practice aims to bind community members and to celebrate a rite of passage; it may lead to harmful health and social consequences. Some women with fistula report their fistula was caused by FGM/C. Concerted efforts which embrace feminist understandings of society, as well as multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary and community development approaches need to be employed to address FGM/C, and to possibly reduce cases of obstetric fistulas in Kenya and beyond. Both government and non-government organisations need to be involved in making legislative, gender sensitive policies that protect women from FGM/C. In addition, the policy makers need to be in the front line to improve the lives of women who endured the consequences of FGM/C.

This article is available in this LINK

Grounded Theory A Methodology Choice to Investigating Labia Minora Elongation Among Zambians in South Africa

FREEInt J Qual Methods.

LMEGrounded Theory. A Methodology Choice to Investigating Labia Minora Elongation Among Zambians in South Africa

Martínez Pérez G, Mubanga M, Tomás Aznar C, Bagnol B

ABSTRACT

A study on how Zambian migrants living in Cape Town perceive and experience the implications of labial elongation on women’s health was conducted. Labia minora elongation (LME) is a genital modification that some women in east and southern Africa practice. This tradition is not common in Western Cape province (southwestern part of South Africa). The aim of this article is to discuss the methodological choices made in the design and conduct of this study, in which a White European male interviewed the female study participants on the health implications of a practice that is considered a woman’s private issue. Constructivist grounded theory informed by a feminist perspective was chosen as the most suitable methodological approach to enable cogeneration of knowledge with the female participants. The methods and tools used by the lead investigator facilitated access to the participants’ emic views. Grounded theory methodology holds the potential to be an appropriate methodological approach for researchers who seek to erode the power imbalances influencing research processes that aim to explore the associated meanings and health implications of female genital modifications, such as LME, as narrated by the women who practice them.

This article is available in this LINK

Women’s Sexuality as a Site of Control & Resistance: Views on the African Context

Keynote Address delivered at the International Conference on Bride price under the theme, “Coalition and Action to Safeguard Women and Children in the Family, “under the auspices of the Mifumi Project, February 17, 2004 at Makerere University, KampalaFREELME

Women’s Sexuality as a Site of Control & Resistance: Views on the African Context 

Tamale S

Faculty of Law – Makerere University

EXTRACT

…Tutelage begun at puberty just before a girl starts menstruating, when she would “visit the bush” under the tutelage of her Ssenga.,24 Visiting the bush involves a procedure of stretching or elongating the labia minor of a woman. Traditionally, among the Baganda, the meaning attached to this cultural practice was a tightly kept secret that was associated with female enhanced arousal in foreplay. The purported and commonly touted meaning of the elongated labia was that they enhanced erotic pleasure of a man who came in sexual contact with them. Of course this practice was viewed through a completely different light by the imperialists who came across it. They perceived it as a barbaric mutilation of the female genitals and, today it has been condemned and classified as “Type IV FGM”!…

This conference paper can be accessed in this LINK

Judging the Other: Responding to Traditional Female Genital Surgeries

Hastings Center Report. Article first published online: 23 MAR 2012. DOI: 10.2307/3527930. May-June 1996 26(3)31–40,

Judging the Other: Responding to Traditional Female Genital Surgeries

Sandra D. Lane and Robert A. Rubinstein

ABSTRACT

Western feminists, physicians, and ethicists condemn the traditional genital surgeries performed on women in some non-Western cultures. But coming to moral judgment is not the end of the story; we must also decide what to do about our judgments. We must learn to work respectfully with, not independently of, local resources for cultural self-examination and change.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

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.

A Rose by Any Other Name? Rethinking the Similarities and Differences between Male and Female Genital Cutting

Med Anthropol Q. 2007 Sept; 21 (3): 301–323

A Rose by Any Other Name? Rethinking the Similarities and Differences between Male and Female Genital Cutting

Darby R, Svoboda JS

ABSTRACT

In this article, we offer a critical examination of the tendency to segregate discussion of surgical alterations to the male and female genitals into separate compartments—the first known as circumcision, the second as genital mutilation. We argue that this fundamental problem of definition underlies the considerable controversy surrounding these procedures when carried out on minors, and that it hinders objective discussion of the alleged benefits, harms, and risks. We explore the variable effects of male and female genital surgeries, and we propose a scale of damage for male circumcision to complement the World Health Organization’s categorization of female genital mutilation. The origins of the double standard identified are placed in historical perspective, and in a brief conclusion we make a plea for greater gender neutrality in the approach to this contentious issue.

This article can be purchased in this LINK.

The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective (review)

Harvard Human Rights Journal. August 2001;23(3):832-836.
 
The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective (review)
 
Carpenter RC
 
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:R. Charli Carpenter – The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective (review) – Human Rights Quarterly 23:3 Human Rights Quarterly 23.3 (2001) 832-836 Book Review The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective, by Ellen Gruenbaum (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 2001). The followers of mutilation are good people who love their children; any campaign that insinuates otherwise is doomed to provoke defensive reaction. –Gerry Mackie, (1996:1015) The quotation, which heads the seventh chapter of Gruenbaum’s book, summarizes the normative thrust of her analysis. It is precisely the inability of Westerners to reconcile our definition of “people who love their children” with the image of adults holding down small girls and cutting their genitals, which paralyzes Western-led reform efforts. Gruenbaum highlights and critiques this incongruity in her study of “real-life complexities” regarding what she carefully terms “female circumcision.” Her aim is to provide a depiction of the socioeconomic institutions perpetuating female circumcision, which she claims are all too often lost or obscured in the self-righteous rhetoric of the anti-FGM movement. She accomplishes this through a combination of historiography and in-depth case study; and by negotiating a middle-ground between her Western feminism and her anthropologist’s cultural…

This article can be purchased in this LINK