Tag Archives: Social change

Social process whereby the values, attitudes, or institutions of society, such as education, family, religion, and industry become modified. It includes both the natural process and action programs initiated by members of the community.

Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya: are young men allies in social change programmes?

Reprod Health Matters. 2016 May;24(47):118-25. doi: 10.1016/j.rhm.2016.06.002.

Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya: are young men allies in social change programmes?

Brown E, Mwangi-Powell F, Jerotich M, le May V

ABSTRACT

The Girl Summit held in 2014 aimed to mobilise greater effort to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) within a generation, building on a global movement which viewed the practice as a severe form of violence against women and girls and a violation of their rights. The UN, among others, endorse “comprehensive” strategies to end FGM, including legalistic measures, social protection and social communications. FGM is a sensitive issue and difficult to research, and rapid ethnographic methods can use existing relations of trust within social networks to explore attitudes towards predominant social norms which posit FGM as a social necessity. This study used Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PEER) to understand young men’s (18-25 years) perceptions of FGM, demand for FGM among future spouses, and perceptions of efforts to end FGM in a small town in West Pokot, Kenya, where FGM is reported to be high (between 85% to 96%). Twelve PEER researchers were recruited, who conducted two interviews with their friends, generating a total of 72 narrative interviews. The majority of young men who viewed themselves as having a “modern” outlook and with aspirations to marry “educated” women were more likely not to support FGM. Our findings show that young men viewed themselves as valuable allies in ending FGM, but that voicing their opposition to the practice was often difficult. More efforts are needed by multi-stakeholders – campaigners, government and local leaders – to create an enabling environment to voice that opposition.

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Frequency-Dependent Social Transmission and the Interethnic Transfer of Female Genital Modification in the African Diaspora and Indigenous Populations of Colombia

Hum Nat. 2015 Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Frequency-Dependent Social Transmission and the Interethnic Transfer of Female Genital Modification in the African Diaspora and Indigenous Populations of Colombia

Ross CT, Campiño PJ, Winterhalder B

ABSTRACT

We present a quantitative account based on ethnographic and documentary research of the prevalence of female genital modification (FGMo) in the African diaspora and indigenous populations of Colombia. We use these data to test hypotheses concerning the cultural evolutionary drivers of costly trait persistence, attenuation, and intergroup transmission. The uptake of FGMo by indigenous populations in Colombia is consistent with frequency-dependent hypotheses for the social transmission of the FGMo trait from the African diaspora population in the period following the era of slavery in Colombia. The prevalence and severity of practices related to FGMo decline with level of sociocultural integration into mainstream Colombian culture. Our results provide empirical support for the cultural evolutionary models proposed by Ross et al. (2015) to describe the transmission dynamics of FGMo and other costly traits. Analysis of costly trait dynamics contributes knowledge useful to applied anthropology and may be of interest in policy design and human rights monitoring in Colombia and elsewhere.

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Women’s position and attitudes towards female genital mutilation in Egypt: A secondary analysis of the Egypt demographic and health surveys, 1995-2014

BMC Public Health. 2015 Sep 10;15(1):874. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2203-6. FREE

Women’s position and attitudes towards female genital mutilation in Egypt: A secondary analysis of the Egypt demographic and health surveys, 1995-2014.

Van Rossem R, Meekers D, Gage AJ

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is still widespread in Egyptian society. It is strongly entrenched in local tradition and culture and has a strong link to the position of women. To eradicate the practice a major attitudinal change is a required for which an improvement in the social position of women is a prerequisite. This study examines the relationship between Egyptian women’s social positions and their attitudes towards FGM, and investigates whether the spread of anti-FGM attitudes is related to the observed improvements in the position of women over time.

METHODS: Changes in attitudes towards FGM are tracked using data from the Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys from 1995 to 2014. Multilevel logistic regressions are used to estimate 1) the effects of indicators of a woman’s social position on her attitude towards FGM, and 2) whether these effects change over time.

RESULTS: Literate, better educated and employed women are more likely to oppose FGM. Initially growing opposition to FGM was related to the expansion of women’s education, but lately opposition to FGM also seems to have spread to other segments of Egyptian society.

CONCLUSIONS: The improvement of women’s social position has certainly contributed to the spread of anti-FGM attitudes in Egyptian society. Better educated and less traditional women were at the heart of this change, and formed the basis from where anti-FGM sentiment has spread over wider segments of Egyptian society.

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Circumcising Circumcision: Renegotiating Beliefs and Practices among Somali Women in Johannesburg and Nairobi

Med Anthropol. 2015 Jun 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Circumcising Circumcision: Renegotiating Beliefs and Practices among Somali Women in Johannesburg and Nairobi.

Jinnah Z, Lowe L

ABSTRACT

Female circumcision amongst Somalis is a deeply personal and subjective practice, framed within traditional norms and cultural practices, but negotiated within contemporary realities to produce a set of processes and practices that are nuanced, differentiated, and undergoing change. Based on ethnographic research amongst Somali women in Johannesburg and Nairobi, we argue that the context of forced migration provides women with opportunities to renegotiate and reinvent what female circumcision means to them. The complex, subjective and diverse perceptions and experiences of circumcision as embedded processes, within the context of migration, we argue has been overlooked in the literature, which has tended to be framed within a normative discourse concerned with the medical effects of the practice, or in anthropological studies, counter to the normative discourse based on personal narratives.

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The circumcision of women: a strategy for eradication

London, England; Zed Books: 1987.

The circumcision of women: a strategy for eradication

Koso-Thomas 0

ABSTRACT

Female circumcision is a traditional practice in many parts of Africa that has significant medical consequences. The main arguments in its favor, including cleanliness, aesthetics, improved health and social benefits, are refuted in this monograph. This practice was studied in Sierra Leone, where it affects 90% of females, and is carried out by secret societies. Female initiates are usually in their early teens and must undergo training and participate in elaborate rituals. The health effects vary with the typ of circumcision and the conditions under which it is performed. Immediate consequences include pain, hemorrhage, urinary tract problems, and serious infections. Scar formation leads to late sequelae of dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, pelvic infections and abscesses, hematocolpos, infertility, difficulty urinating, urinary tract infections and anal incontinence and fissures. Female circumcision is also a cause of later reproductive difficulty due to obstructed labor, resulting in several obstetrical complications. Psychological effects differ among women who have undergone it voluntarily, and those who have been forced to undergo this ritual, with the latter suffering much more psychologically. A pilot study of 135 people in Sierra Leone found that a significant number favor female circumcision and believe that it is essential to their culture. This attitude is related to illiteracy. In a survey of 300 women in Sierra Leone, tradition was the most common reason given for circumcision (85%), followed by social identity and religion. Circumcision was related to Muslim religion and inversely related to educational level. Statistical breakdown by tribe, method, complications, age, and attitude regarding circumcision is provided. A detailed strategy for the eradication of female circumcision is outlined.

This book can be accessed in this LINK

ATTITUDES OF CIRCUMCISED WOMEN TOWARDS DISCONTINUATION OF GENITAL CUTTING OF THEIR DAUGHTERS IN KENYA.

J Biosoc Sci. 2014 Jul 3:1-16. [Epub ahead of print]

ATTITUDES OF CIRCUMCISED WOMEN TOWARDS DISCONTINUATION OF GENITAL CUTTING OF THEIR DAUGHTERS IN KENYA.

Patra S, Singh RK.

ABSTRACT

Female genital cutting (FGC) is widely practised in Kenya. However, its prevalence has declined over the last two decades (38.0% in 1998 KDHS, 32.2% in 2003 KDHS and 27.1% in 2008-09 KDHS), implying changes in behaviours and attitudes of Kenyans towards FGC. This study provides an overview of changing attitudes of women towards FGC in Kenya. An extensive literature review was undertaken and 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data were used to focus on the present scenario. Analyses were based on a national sample of 2284 circumcised women. About 68% of these women wanted to discontinue FGC, and attitudes towards discontinuation were found to vary with women’s background characteristics. Surprisingly, 92.5% of circumcised women of the North-Eastern province still wished to continue FGC, and for Muslims the percentage was 72.2%. About 36% of circumcised women responded that their daughters were already circumcised. Only 13% of circumcised mothers intended their daughters to be circumcised in the future. The study shows that the attitude of Kenyan women, irrespective of their circumcision status, has been changing gradually towards the discontinuation of circumcision of their daughters.

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Reflections on female circumcision discourse in Hargeysa, Somaliland: purified or mutilated?

Afr J Reprod Health. 2014 Jun;18(2):22-35.FREE

Reflections on female circumcision discourse in Hargeysa, Somaliland: purified or mutilated?

Vestbøstad E, Blystad A.

ABSTRACT

In communities where female circumcision is carried out, increasingly large segments of the population have been exposed to strong arguments against the practice. This study aimed to explore diverse discourses on female circumcision and the relationship between discourses and practice among informants who have been exposed both to local and global discourses on female circumcision. A qualitative study was carried out in 2009/10 in Hargeysa, Somaliland, employing interviews and informal discussion. The main categories of informants were nurses, nursing students, returned exile Somalis and development workers. The study findings suggest that substantial change has taken place about perceptions and practice related to female circumcision; the topic is today openly discussed, albeit more in the public than in the private arena. An important transformation moreover seems to be taking place primarily from the severe forms (pharaoni) to the less extensive forms (Sunna).

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Attitudes toward Female Circumcision among Men and Women in Two Districts in Somalia: Is It Time to Rethink Our Eradication Strategy in Somalia?

Obstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:312734. doi: 10.1155/2013/312734. Epub 2013 Apr 18. FREE

Attitudes toward Female Circumcision among Men and Women in Two Districts in Somalia: Is It Time to Rethink Our Eradication Strategy in Somalia?

Gele AA, Bø BP, Sundby J.

Department of Social Science, Oslo University College, 0167 Oslo, Norway ; Section for International Health, Department of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, 0167 Oslo, Norway.

ABSTRACT

Somalia has the highest global prevalence (98%) of female circumcision (FC), and, despite a long history of abandonment efforts, it is not clear as to whether or not these programmes have changed people’s positive attitudes toward the practice. Against this background, this paper explores the attitudes of Somalis living in Hargeisa and Galkayo districts to the practice of FC. Methods. A purposive sampling of 24 Somalis, including activists and practitioners, men and women, was conducted in Somalia. Unstructured interviews were employed to explore the participants’ knowledge of FC, their attitudes toward the continuation/discontinuation of the practice, and the type they want to continue or not to continue. Result. The findings of this qualitative study indicate that there is a strong resistance towards the abandonment of the practice in Somalia. The support for the continuation of Sunna circumcision is widespread, while there is a quite large rejection of Pharaonic circumcision. Conclusion. Therefore, since the “zero tolerance policy” has failed to change people’s support for the continuation of the practice in Somalia, programmes that promote the pinch of the clitoral skin and verbal alteration of status, with the goal of leading to total abandonment of FC, should be considered for the Somali context.

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The Applicability of Behaviour Change in Intervention Programmes Targeted at Ending Female Genital Mutilation in the EU: Integrating Social Cognitive and Community Level Approaches.

Obstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:324362. doi: 10.1155/2013/324362. Epub 2013 Jul 29. FREE

The Applicability of Behaviour Change in Intervention Programmes Targeted at Ending Female Genital Mutilation in the EU: Integrating Social Cognitive and Community Level Approaches.

Brown K, Beecham D, Barrett H.

Faculty of Business, Environment and Society, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK.

ABSTRACT

With increased migration, female genital mutilation (FGM) also referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting is no longer restricted to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The European Parliament estimates that up to half a million women living in the EU have been subjected to FGM, with a further 180,000 at risk. Aware of the limited success of campaigns addressing FGM, the World Health Organization recommended a behavioural change approach be implemented in order to end FGM. To date, however, little progress has been made in adopting a behaviour change approach in strategies aimed at ending FGM. Based on research undertaken as part of the EU’s Daphne III programme, which researched FGM intervention programmes linked to African communities in the EU (REPLACE), this paper argues that behaviour change has not been implemented due to a lack of understanding relating to the application of the two broad categories of behaviour change approach: individualistic decision-theoretic and community-change game-theoretic approaches, and how they may be integrated to aid our understanding and the development of future intervention strategies. We therefore discuss how these can be integrated and implemented using community-based participatory action research methods with affected communities.

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Successful Cultural Change: the Example of Female Circumcision among Israeli Bedouins and Israeli Jews from Ethiopia.

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2012;49(3):178-83.FREE

Successful Cultural Change: the Example of Female Circumcision among Israeli Bedouins and Israeli Jews from Ethiopia.

Bellmaker RH.

Beersheva Mental Health Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel.

ABSTRACT

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced in many areas of the world, including the Middle East, Africa and Australia. Although it is most common in Muslim populations it is not a dictate of Islam. In the 1980s this practice was reported among Bedouin tribes, originally nomadic, in the southern area of Israel. Almost all of the women interviewed in the first study intended to continue the practice by performing FGM on their daughters including educated women who were teachers, dental assistants or university students. A second study was therefore done based in the obstetrical clinic where only women from tribes reporting to undergo FGM were examined for signs of FGM by an experienced gynecologist, in the presence of an Arabic-speaking female nurse and translator, as part of a gynecologic examination that was indicated for other reasons. In no cases was clitoridectomy or any damage to the labia found. All women had a small scar from a 1cm. incision somewhere on the labia or prepuce of the clitoris. this study concluded that the importance of the ritual in this population was unrelated to its severity. the ritual had apparently become over time a small symbolic scar, even though this population continued to believe in its importance. By contrast, a group of Ethiopian Jews who had immigrated to Israel was interviewed by an Amharic translator, and examined during routine gynecological examination in the same manner as the Bedouin group above. In Ethiopia, FGM is universal among Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups. All women interviewed reported that FGM was universal in Ethiopia, but none intended to continue this practice with their daughters. All stated that this was a practice that would be left behind in their country of origin. on physical examination many of the women had amputation of the clitoris. the conclusion of this study was that the severity of the operation performed had no relation to the social and cultural adherence to the operation, since the Ethiopian Jews who practiced a more severe form of the operation intended to abandon this practice while the Muslim Bedouin who had a much milder form intended to continue it. A follow-up study in 2009 of the Bedouin population of southern Israel has found that FGM had disappeared, both by self-report of women under the age of 30, and by physical examination of women under the age of 30 in an obstetrical clinic. these results suggest an optimistic approach toward cultural change involving unhealthy cultural practices and emphasize the importance of cognitive approaches to cultural change.

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