Tag Archives: Labia minora elongation*

Elongation of inner labia minora by constant pulling or stretching.

ELONGATION: OKUKYALIRA ENSIKO, the Buganda way of enhancing sexual pleasure

Ekimeeza webpage. MAY 21, 2012 LME

ELONGATION: OKUKYALIRA ENSIKO, the Buganda way of enhancing sexual pleasure

(No author)


Humanity’s pursuit for merit is not restricted to the open. Even in utmost privacy, when the matter at hand is entirely the business of a secretive twosome, mankind has always sought to excel and impress.

To many men, performance must impress even if it means applying drugs as dangerous as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Many others have tried hazardous penis enlargement products. It is women, however, that have come up with the most creative and most awesome ways of enhancing their sexual performance.

In some cultures, glitters and jewels are applied down there to boost the area’s attractiveness. In parts of East and Central Africa women invented a sexual stimulus method that the people of Buganda came to know as Okukyalira ensiko.

This tradition of pulling and elongating the parts of the vagina variously known as labia minora, inner labia or inner lips enjoys pervasive reverence in central Uganda. In western Uganda, women of the Bahima clan used to make their labia minora long enough to cover the vaginal opening, raising barricades in the path of rapists. As members of the clan moved to towns and increasingly started wearing clothes following the 1986 change of government, the fear of rape went away with the modification of the vagina…

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Violated: Women’s Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

Human Rights & Human Welfare Journal. Topical review Digest: Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa digest.

Violated: Women’s Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Kathryn Birdwell Wester

EXTRACT: In contemporary sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), women are facing human rights abuses unparalleled elsewhere in the world. Despite the region’s diversity, its female inhabitants largely share experiences of sexual discrimination and abuse, intimate violence, political marginalization, and economic deprivation. Consider the following…

This report can be accessed for free in this LINK


The right to culture and the culture of rights: a critical perspective on women’s sexual rights in Africa

Feminist Legal Studies. Apr 2008 16(1):47 LMEFREE

The right to culture and the culture of rights: a critical perspective on women’s sexual rights in Africa

Tamale S


This paper can be accessed 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


…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


Masters in Women’s Law Programme, Southern and Eastern Africa Regional Women’s Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe. (2008)LMEFREE

“A case of culture gone awry”: An investigation of female initiation ceremonies and Nyau dance vigils on the rights of teenage girls to education and sexual reproductive health amongst migrant communities in Norton, Zimbabwe

Thabethe SN


This dissertation focuses on the harm suffered by teenage girls who, often forced into early marriages by poverty, must first engage in the customary practices of initiation ceremonies followed by participation in highly ritualized dance vigils. Evidence from a wide range of sources analysed in the context of various methodologies, in particular the Women’s Law Approach, testifies loudly to the serious harm caused, primarily, to their health and education as a result of the growing abuses of these practices. In order to protect and realize the human rights of these vulnerable young women in terms of local and international HR instruments which bind Zimbabwe, the writer does not suggest abolishing the practices, but rather reforming them internally by educating their adult overseers.

This Master Thesis Dissertation can be accessed in this LINK

Preparing for microbicide trials in Rwanda: Focus group discussions with Rwandan women and men

Culture, Health & Sexuality. 2006 8(5): 395-406 LME

Preparing for microbicide trials in Rwanda: Focus group discussions with Rwandan women and men 

N. Veldhuijzen, J. Nyinawabega, M. Umulisa, B. Kankindi, E. Geubbels, P. Basinga, J. Vyankandondera & J. Van De Wijgert


The acceptability and feasibility of microbicide studies and future microbicide use are influenced by existing norms and values regarding sexual and contraceptive behaviour. In preparation for microbicide research in Rwanda, focus group discussions were conducted to assess sexual and contraceptive behaviour, preferences for vaginal lubrication, and hypothetical acceptability of microbicides among Rwandan women and men. Seven focus group discussions were conducted among sexually active married women, unmarried women, sex workers, female students, older women and men living in Kigali, Rwanda, and an additional group of women living in a rural area. The results indicate that condom use is low among Rwandan men and women and that condoms are mainly used by men during commercial sex. Women have limited power to negotiate condom or family planning use. Vaginal hygiene practices are very common and consist primarily of washing with water. Lubrication during sex is highly preferred by both men and women. Hypothetical microbicide acceptability after an explanation of what microbicides are and a demonstration with lubricant jelly was high.

This article can be purchased in this LINK


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


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

Labial Elongation in the Shona

The Central Africa Journal of Medicine. July 1969 15 (7):165-166FREELME

Labial Elongation in the Shona

Williams J


It is a common medical observation that most Shona women have elongated labia minora. Upon external vaginal examination these usually pre~ent as two contiguous bundles of gathered, shrIvelled, loose skin tissue. By including a labial measurement with routine antenatal pro- cedures, the extent of this enlargement was estimated in a series of rural Shona patients…

This article can be accessed in this LINK

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


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

Vaginal practices as women’s agency in sub-Saharan Africa: a synthesis of meaning and motivation through meta-ethnography.

Soc Sci Med. 2012 May;74(9):1311-23. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.032. Epub 2012 Jan 28. LME

Vaginal practices as women’s agency in sub-Saharan Africa: a synthesis of meaning and motivation through meta-ethnography.

Martin Hilber A, Kenter E, Redmond S, Merten S, Bagnol B, Low N, Garside R.

University of Bern, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Finkenhubelweg 11, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland. amartinhilber@ispm.unibe.ch


This paper reports on a systematic review of qualitative research about vaginal practices in sub-Saharan Africa, which used meta-ethnographic methods to understand their origins, their meanings for the women who use them, and how they have evolved in time and place. We included published documents which were based on qualitative methods of data collection and analysis and contained information on vaginal practices. After screening, 16 texts were included which dated from 1951 to 2008. We found that practices evolve and adapt to present circumstances and that they remain an important source of power for women to negotiate challenges that they face. Recent evidence suggests that some practices may increase a woman’s susceptibility to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The success of new female-controlled prevention technologies, such as microbicides, might be determined by whether they can and will be used by women in the course of their daily life.

This article can be purchased in this LINK