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Male and female genital cutting among Southern Thailand’s Muslims: rituals, biomedical practice and local discourses

Cult Health Sex. 2010;12(7):725-738

Male and female genital cutting among Southern Thailand’s Muslims: rituals, biomedical practice and local discourses

Merli C

Department of Anthropology, Durham University, Durham, UK

This paper explores how local people in a province in southern Thailand perceive the practice of male andfemale genital cutting. In order to understand the importance placed on these practices, a comparison is drawn between the two and also between the male circumcision and the Buddhist ordination of monks as rites of passage. Discourses on the exposure or concealment of male and female bodies, respectively, witness to the relevance of both the local political-historical context and biomedical hegemony to gendered bodies. The comparisons evince the need to reflect upon the theoretical and ethical implications of studyinggenital cutting and focusing exclusively on one of the two practices rather than, as this paper claims to be necessary, considering them as inextricably connected.

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To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision

Med Law. July 1994;13(7-8):575-622,

To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision

Sami A. ALDEEB ABU-SAHLIEH

Introduction:

Article 24, paragraph 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of 20 Nov. 1989, stipulates:

States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.

In 1984, the President of the Inter-African Committee stated:

An erroneous idea of Religion has played a key role in maintaining the practice of excision and other practices which tend to relegate the woman to a lower status in relation to the man.

In April 1987, the Vice-President of the Inter-African Committee reiterated:

I request more aggressive tactics to put an end to the practice of infibulation. I call for more active support especially from the religious leaders of Islam after it has been confirmed many times that this practice is contrary to the precept of Islam.

In this Committee’s opinion, religion and Muslim religious leaders play an important role in the matter of female circumcision. The goal of this study is to define this role in male circumcision as well as in female circumcision. We shall on purpose avoid any use of the word Islam, as too abstract a notion, and we shall concentrate on the written sources of Muslim law and the opinions of contemporary Arab authors, mostly of Egyptian origin.

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Culture, Citizenship and Community: A Contextual Exploration of Justice as Evenhandedness (review)

Harvard Human Rights Journal. May 2001 23(2): 467-470

Culture, Citizenship and Community: A Contextual Exploration of Justice as Evenhandedness (review)

Howard RE.

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Rhoda E. Howard – Culture, Citizenship and Community: A Contextual Exploration of Justice as Evenhandedness (review) – Human Rights Quarterly 23:2 Human Rights Quarterly 23.2 (2001) 467-470 Book Review Culture, Citizenship and Community: A Contextual Exploration of Justice as Evenhandedness Culture, Citizenship and Community: A Contextual Exploration of Justice as Evenhandedness, by Joseph H. Carens (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000) ix + 284 pp, bibliography, index. This is a very learned book of political philosophy, in which Joseph Carens, a Canadian scholar originally from the United States, argues through cases for demands of “complex justice” in liberal democratic societies. It should be read along with, and sometimes as arguments against, two other influential Canadian philosophers, Will Kymlicka and Charles Taylor. It should also be read in the context of larger discussions of the nature of community and social membership such as have been addressed by Michael Walzer. Carens’ major argument is for justice as “evenhandedness,” that he illustrates through use of very familiar examples such as the debates about whether Muslim schoolgirls in France should be permitted to wear veils, about whether female genital mutilations should be permitted in Western societies in the name of cultural relativism, and about who should be permitted citizenship in Germany. He also draws on important Canadian debates about the “distinct” nature of society in…

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Some Ethical Considerations Regarding Medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation/cutting (Female Circumcision)

rev.latinoam.bioet. vol.8 no.1 Bogotá Jan./June 2008

Some Ethical Considerations Regarding Medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation/cutting (Female Circumcision)

Ahmed R. A. Ragab

Médico Gineco-Obstetra con Maestría en Bioética. Profesor de investigación de la salud reproductiva aplicada de la Universidad de Al-zhar (El Cairo, Egipto). Email: arragab@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

According to each society’s condition the ethical attitude of the individual may be colored by the attitude of the society. It is therefore not surprising to find what is ethical in one society might not be ethical in another. Female Genital Cutting, as an example, is seen in some societies as a must and something good for the whole community in general and for girls in particular, while in others, it is seen as mutilation and violation of human rights. The practice of female genital cutting is a complex issue that ties the traditional gender roles, superstition, local concepts on health and sexuality, as well as several other social relations. Worldwide, an estimated 130 million girls and women have undergone FGC.

The current paper examines medicalization of female genital cutting from ethical point of view. The paper discusses the issue in the following themes: definition of the practice, the justifications of the practice, the complications and lastly the ethical reflections. The paper argues that laws that prohibit the practice would not work, without wide socio-cultural change; any effort to eradicate the practice would not succeed.

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Female sexual mutilation: Features of this practice

Revista Cubana de Obstetricia y Ginecología. 2009; 35(3)

Female sexual mutilation: Features of this practice [article in Spanish]

Rafael Orestes Vanegas EstradaFatou Atji, Orlando Valdez Álvarez

ABSTRACT  

The practice of female sexual mutilation (FSM), excision or circumcision is abundantly treated in literature by social sciences authors, health professionals, religion, women rights activists and the victims of this violent practice carried out on many African girls and women.

OBJECTIVE: to identify the different factors involved in this practice, and frequency of physical consequences and psychological sequelae.

METHODS: we made a longitudinal, prospective and descriptive study of all patients seen in Gynecology and Obstetrics Service of the Point G Hospital-University Center, and of III level care, from December, 2006 to December, 2007.

Sample included the women with excision and after to be informed they gave its consent to inclusion.

RESULTS: we found a 90% prevalence of this practice in study patients. In study sample there was a predominance of housewives, illiterates, married, and Muslims.

The 60,8% of polled patients ignore complications of this practice. In all the cases we found a cicatricial lesion. The 89% of patients recognized the presence of psychosexual disorders. Tradition and religion were the causes stated for thecarrying out of their daughters with a significant difference (p <0,001).

CONCLUSIONS: it is a cultural practice perpetuating the social and economic injustices of women, moved away from international attention, violating thus the human rights.  

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Female circumcision

Saudi Med J. 2000 Oct;21(10):921-3.

Female circumcision.

Source

Department of Urology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, PO Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. jabudaia@hotmail.com

Abstract

It is uncertain when female circumcision was first practiced, but it certainly preceded the founding of both Christianity and Islam. A review of past and current historical, popular and professional literature was undertaken, and 4 types of female circumcision were identified. Typically female circumcision is performed by a local village practitioner, lay person or by untrained midwives. Female genital mutilation is not accepted by any religious or medical opinion, and is a violation of human rights against helpless individuals who are unable to provide informed consent and who must therefore be protected through education and legislation. Complications of female circumcision can present after many years. Any medical practitioner (either for adult or pediatric) can be confronted with this issue of female circumcision, even in countries where this custom is not present, thus mandating the understanding of this complex issue.

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