Tag Archives: Norway

[Genital mutilation of women. A new challenge for the health service]. [Article in Norwegian]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1993 Sep 10;113(21):2704-7.
[Genital mutilation of women. A new challenge for the health service]. [Article in Norwegian]
Sundby J, Austveg B
ABSTRACT
Female circumcision, or genital mutilation is practised around the world. Because of war, conflicts and poverty, many women from cultures involving this practice now enter European communities. Some of them demand circumcision for their children. Genital mutilation of women has serious health effects, and in our societies there is a strong demand for its eradication. The cultural reasons for genital mutilation are varied, but it is not a compulsory part of the Islamic faith. Health workers in Norway may lack knowledge on how to handle these women when they meet them in their daily work. Sometimes unnecessary interventions are performed, sometimes ignorance may cause traumatic experiences for both patient and doctor. This article describes some of the social and cultural background for continued exposure to female mutilation, the health effects and some suggestions for interventions.
There is no LINK to see this article online

Meaning-making of female genital cutting: children’s perception and acquired knowledge of the ritual.

Int J Womens Health. 2013 Apr 15;5:165-75. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S40447. Print 2013.FREE

Meaning-making of female genital cutting: children’s perception and acquired knowledge of the ritual.

Schultz JH, Lien IL.

Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Oslo, Norway.

ABSTRACT

How do girls who have undergone female genital cutting understand the ritual? This study provides an analysis of the learning process and knowledge acquired in their meaning-making process. Eighteen participants were interviewed in qualitative indepth interviews. Women in Norway, mostly with Somali or Gambian backgrounds, were asked about their experiences of circumcision. Two different strategies were used to prepare girls for circumcision, ie, one involving giving some information and the other keeping the ritual a secret. Findings indicate that these two approaches affected the girls’ meaning-making differently, but both strategies seemed to lead to the same educational outcome. The learning process is carefully monitored and regulated but is brought to a halt, stopping short of critical reflexive thinking. The knowledge tends to be deeply internalized, embodied, and morally embraced. The meaning-making process is discussed by analyzing the use of metaphors and narratives. Given that the educational outcome is characterized by limited knowledge without critical reflection, behavior change programs to end female genital cutting should identify and implement educational stimuli that are likely to promote critical reflexive thinking.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

When female circumcision comes to the West: Attitudes toward the practice among Somali Immigrants in Oslo.

BMC Public Health. 2012 Aug 27;12(1):697. [Epub ahead of print]

When female circumcision comes to the West: Attitudes toward the practice among Somali Immigrants in Oslo.

Gele AA Gele Aa, Johansen EB Johansen Eb, Huage MI Hauge Mi, Sundby J Sundby J.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Female circumcision (FC) has lifelong adverse social and health consequences for women, and its abolition will not only enhance the health of children and women, but also promote gender equality. Like many other Western countries, Norway hosts a large proportion of immigrants from FC-practicing countries, though primarily from Somalia, which is the country with the highest prevalence of FC in the world. A behavioral change by the practicing communities has the best chance to successfully and sustainably eliminate this practice. However, FC prevention programs require a behavioral surveillance that monitors the process of change, with this being the first quantitative study since the major migration of the Somali community to Norway began in 1991 to investigate whether or not Somali immigrants’ attitudes toward the practice has improved in favor of its abandonment.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was conducted in Oslo from April to June of 2011. A sample of 214 persons was interviewed, using structured questionnaires.

RESULTS: The results show that 70% of Somalis in Oslo support the discontinuation of all forms of FC compared to 30% who support its continuation, with the latter  group more likely to be people who lived in Norway [LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO] 4 years. Of the 10 girls who came to Norway at the age of [LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO] 7 years, only one was circumcised, though whether the circumcision occurred before  or after the girl’s arrival in Norway remains unclear. The perception that FC is  required by religion was the sole factor to be significantly associated with an ongoing support of FC.

CONCLUSION: The study reveals that Somalis in Oslo demonstrate a trend to abandon this practice over time. Nevertheless, the 30% of  the people who still support its continuation, and who are primarily newly arrived immigrants, require a targeted intervention that is implemented in the early phase of the immigrants’ arrival.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

[Is genital examination of preschool girls offensive?] [Article in Norwegian]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2007 Sep 20;127(18):2402-4.

[Is genital examination of preschool girls offensive?]. [Article in Norwegian]

Gulla K, Myhre AK, Bratlid D

Barne- og ungdomsklinikken, St. Olavs Hospital, 7006 Trondheim. kari.gulla@hist.no

Diskusjonen omkring rutineundersøkelse av barns underliv er ikke av ny dato. Blant annet gikk den høyt i 1990-årene, den gang i kjølvannet av flere store overgrepssaker. Debatten har nå fått ny aktualitet – denne gang på grunn av en gryende bevissthet om at også jenter bosatt i Norge utsettes for kjønnslemlestelse. Etter vår mening er tiden nå moden for å vurdere saken i hele sin bredde, både ut fra de mange og dels nye utfordringer innen barnehelse og ikke minst i lys av ny kunnskap på området…

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting

Oslo: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC). Report from NOKC nr 25 – 2009. 2009

Effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting

Denison E, Berg RC, Lewin S, Fretheim A

Record Status This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.
Authors’ conclusions There is a paucity of high quality evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions to prevent FGM/C and the evidence base is insufficient to draw solid conclusions. While first-generation anti-FGM/C intervention studies are informative, there is an urgent need for additional studies. Such second-generation studies should be randomized or at a minimum secure similar distribution of prognostic factors in the intervention and comparison groups; long-term to ensure viability and reliable assessment of changes in prevalence; take into account regional, ethnic and sociodemographic variation in the practice of FGM/C; focus on prevalence – assessed by physical examinations – behaviours, and intentions; and they should be cross-disciplinary, if possible through international collaborative initiatives.

This review can be accessed in this LINK

Factors promoting and hindering the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)

Oslo: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC). Report from NOKC nr 23 – 2010. 2010

Factors promoting and hindering the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)

Berg RC, Denison E, Fretheim A

Record Status This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.
Authors’ conclusions Our results show that an intricate web of cultural, social, religious, and medical pretexts for FGM/C exists. However, more research is needed to understand the totality and interconnectedness of factors promoting and hindering FGM/C among exiled members of practicing communities.

This review can be accessed in this LINK

Psychological, social and sexual consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): a systematic review of quantitative studies

Report from Kunnskapssenteret nr 13−2010. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter for helsetjenesten, 2010.

Psychological, social and sexual consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): a systematic review of quantitative studies

Berg RC, Denison E, Fretheim A

Record Status This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.
Bibliographic details Berg RC, Denison E, Fretheim A. Psychological, social and sexual consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): a systematic review of quantitative studies Oslo: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC). Report from NOKC nr 13 – 2010. 2010
Authors’ conclusions The psychological, social and sexual consequences of FGM/C is an under-researched and neglected issue. The low quality of the body of evidence precludes us from drawing conclusions regarding causality, and the evidence base is insufficient to draw solid conclusions about the psychological and social consequences of FGM/C. However, our results substantiate the proposition that a woman whose genital tissues have been partly removed is more likely to experience increased pain and reduction in sexual satisfaction and desire. Future studies investigating the consequences of FGM/C should compare clearly defined groups that differ by the extent of FGM/C, whereby classification is based on gynaecological examination. Multi-centre, comparative studies which apply a methodology that increases the likelihood of equivalency of exposed and unexposed groups of women and standardized data collection, are preferable.

Care for Infibulated Women Giving Birth in Norway: An Anthropological Analysis of Health Workers’ Management of a Medically and Culturally Unfamiliar Issue

Med Anthropol Q. 2006 Dec; 20 (4): 516-544

Care for Infibulated Women Giving Birth in Norway: An Anthropological Analysis of Health Workers’ Management of a Medically and Culturally Unfamiliar Issue

Elise R, Johansen B

ABSTRACT

The focus of this article is on Norwegian health care workers’ experience and management of birth care of women who have undergone infibulation. Because infibulation is the most extensive form of female genital cutting, infibulated women experience a higher risk of birth complications, and health workers generally experience delivery care for this group as challenging. Infibulated women, who come from recently arrived immigrant groups, are a challenge to the predominant Norwegian birth philosophy of “natural childbirth” and the positive evaluation of everything considered natural. The challenges relate to a mixture of technical know-how and a complex set of interpretations of central cultural elements of gender, nature, health, and gender equity. The findings suggest that a combination of taboo, silence, limited knowledge, and emotional difficulty along with a wish to be culture sensitive may at times prove counterproductive to giving the best help. Health care workers often seem to impose “imagined” cultural values on infibulated women, rather than clarifying them through personal communication.

This article can be purchased in this LINK.

Pain as a Counterpoint to Culture: Toward an Analysis of Pain Associated with Infibulation among Somali Immigrants in Norway

Med Anthropol Q. 2002 Sept; 16 (3): 312-340

Pain as a Counterpoint to Culture: Toward an Analysis of Pain Associated with Infibulation among Somali Immigrants in Norway

Elise R, Johansen B

ABSTRACT

This article focuses on how some Somali women experience and reflect on the pain of infibulation as a lived bodily experience within shifting social and cultural frameworks. Women interviewed for this study describe such pain as intolerable, as an experience that has made them question the cultural values in which the operation is embedded. Whereas this view has gone largely unvoiced in their natal communities, the Norwegian exile situation in which the present study’s informants live has brought about dramatic changes. In Norway, where female circumcision is both condemned and illegal, most of the women have come to reconsider the practice – not merely as a theoretical topic or as a “cultural tradition ” to be maintained or abolished but, rather, as part of their embodied and lived experience, [female circumcision, infibulation, pain, exile, Somali immigrants]

This article can be purchased in this LINK.

Attitudes toward female circumcision among Somali immigrants in Oslo: a qualitative study

Int J Womens Health. 2012;4:7-17. Epub 2012 Jan 20.FREE

Attitudes toward female circumcision among Somali immigrants in Oslo: a qualitative study

Gele AA, Kumar B, Hjelde KH, Sundby J

ABSTRACT
Due to its negative impact on public health, female circumcision (FC) has gained increased attention from international communities and the Norwegian public in recent decades. In 1995, the Norwegian government outlawed the practice and simultaneously developed a package of measures aimed at preventing and ultimately eradicating FC in Norway. Like many other Western countries, immigrants of Somali descent constitute the largest immigrant group in Norway from countries with FC traditions. Although this immigrant group is often perceived as a cultural society that supports FC generally as a practice, there appears to be a lack of studies that explore the impact of acculturation and the Western social context on Somali immigrants’ attitudes toward the practice. Against this background, this paper explores the attitudes of Somalis living in Oslo, Norway to the practice of FC. Findings from this qualitative study indicate that Somalis in Oslo have, to a large extent, changed their attitude toward the practice. This was proven by the presence in Oslo of a large number of Somali parents who left their daughters uncut as well as Somali girls, boys, men, and women who attribute being uncircumcised a high status. This study adds to the knowledge of the process of abandonment of FC among immigrants in the Western countries. The study highlights the success that has been achieved in improving attitudes toward the practice of the Somali community in Oslo, Norway, as well as emerging challenges that need to be addressed further.

This article can be accessed in this LINK