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Gender equality and human rights approaches to female genital mutilation: a review of international human rights norms and standards

FREEReprod Health. 2017 May 12;14(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0322-5.

Gender equality and human rights approaches to female genital mutilation: a review of international human rights norms and standards

Khosla R, Banerjee J, Chou D, Say L, Fried ST

ABSTRACT

Two hundred million girls and women in the world are estimated to have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), and another 15 million girls are at risk of experiencing it by 2020 in high prevalence countries (UNICEF, 2016. Female genital mutilation/cutting: a global concern. 2016). Despite decades of concerted efforts to eradicate or abandon the practice, and the increased need for clear guidance on the treatment and care of women who have undergone FGM, present efforts have not yet been able to effectively curb the number of women and girls subjected to this practice (UNICEF. Female genital mutilation/cutting: a statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change. 2013), nor are they sufficient to respond to health needs of millions of women and girls living with FGM. International efforts to address FGM have thus far focused primarily on preventing the practice, with less attention to treating associated health complications, caring for survivors, and engaging health care providers as key stakeholders. Recognizing this imperative, WHO developed guidelines on management of health complications of FGM. In this paper, based on foundational research for the development of WHO’s guidelines, we situate the practice of FGM as a rights violation in the context of international and national policy and efforts, and explore the role of health providers in upholding health-related human rights of women at girls who are survivors, or who are at risk. Findings are based on a literature review of relevant international human rights treaties and UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies.

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Towards a gender perspective in qualitative research on voluntary medical male circumcision in east and southern Africa

Glob Public Health. 2015 Mar 2:1-13. [Epub ahead of print]

Towards a gender perspective in qualitative research on voluntary medical male circumcision in east and southern Africa

Martínez Pérez G, Triviño Durán L, Gasch A, Desmond N

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization endorsed voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in 2007 as an effective method to provide partial protection against heterosexual female-to-male transmission of HIV in regions with high rates of such transmission, and where uptake of VMMC is low. Qualitative research conducted in east and southern Africa has focused on assessing acceptability, barriers to uptake of VMMC and the likelihood of VMMC increasing men’s adoption of risky sexual behaviours. Less researched, however, have been the perceptions of women and sexual minorities towards VMMC, even though they are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS transmission than are heterosexual men. The purpose of this paper is to identify core areas in which a gendered perspective in qualitative research might improve the understanding and framing of VMMC in east and southern Africa. Issues explored in this analysis are risk compensation, the post-circumcision appearance of the penis, inclusion of men who have sex with men as study respondents and the antagonistic relation between VMMC and female genital cutting. If biomedical and social science researchers explore these issues in future qualitative inquiry utilising a gendered perspective, a more thorough understanding of VMMC can be achieved, which could ultimately inform policy and implementation.

This article can be accessed in this LINK