Tag Archives: Somalia

Attitude toward female genital mutilation among Somali and Harari people, Eastern Ethiopia.

FREEInt J Womens Health. 2016; 8: 557–569.

Attitude toward female genital mutilation among Somali and Harari people, Eastern Ethiopia.

Abathun AD, Sundby J, Gele AA

ABSTRACT

Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a worldwide problem, and it is practiced by many communities in Africa and Asia as well as immigrants from those areas. This practice results in short- and long-term health consequences on women’s health. Like many other developing countries, FGM is widely practiced in Ethiopia, especially among Somali and Harari ethnic groups. Despite intensive campaigns against FGM in Ethiopia, since 2011, it has been practiced in the aforementioned communities. There is no recent information as to whether these campaigns have an impact on the attitude and practice of the community regarding FGM. This qualitative research was aimed at exploring the attitudes of Somali and Harari people between 18 and 65 years toward FGM. Methods: A purposive sampling technique was used to recruit 64 (32 in each region) participants. Data were collected from October to December 2015 in Somali and Harari Regions. Results: The findings showed that there was a strong support for the continuation of the practice among female discussants in Somali region, whereas male discussants from the same region and the majority of the participants from Harari region had a positive attitude toward the discontinuation of the practice. Marriageability was the major reason for practicing FGM in Somali region, whereas making girls calm, sexually inactive, and faithful for their husbands were mentioned in Harari region. Although young men in both the regions prefer to marry uncircumcised girls, the study showed that there are some differences in the attitude toward the FGM practice between the people in the two regions. Conclusion: The findings show that there is an attitudinal difference between the people in the two regions, which calls for behavioral change communication using women-centered approach and culturally appropriate strategies. As young people in both the regions had the intention to marry uncircumcised girls, there has to be a strong advocacy and multisectoral collaboration to stop FGM in both the regions.

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I knew how it feels but couldn’t save my daughter; testimony of an Ethiopian mother on female genital mutilation/cutting.

FREEReprod Health. 2017 Dec 1;14(1):162. doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0434-y.

I knew how it feels but couldn’t save my daughter; testimony of an Ethiopian mother on female genital mutilation/cutting.

Adinew YM, Mekete BT

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: World Health Organization defines female genital mutilation/cutting as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is common in Ethiopia, especially among Somali (99%) ethnic groups. Even though FGM/C is labeled illegal practice according to the revised 2005 Penal Code of the country, the practice is still responsible for misery of many girls in Ethiopia. METHODS: This personal testimony is presented using woman’s own words. Data were collected through in-depth interview with a woman at Gursum health center, Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia on June 19/2016. The interview was conducted in a private environment and original names were changed to overcome ethical concerns. Informed written consent was obtained from the participant prior to data collection. The interview was audio-taped using a digital voice recorder, later transcribed and translated verbatim from the local language, Amharic to English. RESULTS: The study participant described a range of experiences she had during her own and her daughter’s circumcision. Three themes emerged from the woman’s description: womanhood, social pressure and stigmatization of uncircumcised women and uncertain future. CONCLUSION: Even though the national prevalence may show a decline, FGM/C is still practiced underground. Thus, anti-FGM/C interventions shall take in to account elders influence and incorporate a human rights approach rather than relying merely on the dire health consequences. Further exploration of the determinants of FGM/C on a wider scale is recommended.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Factors associated with the support of pricking (female genital cutting type IV) among Somali immigrants – a cross-sectional study in Sweden

Reprod Health. 2017 Aug 8;14(1):92. doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0351-0.FREE

Factors associated with the support of pricking (female genital cutting type IV) among Somali immigrants – a cross-sectional study in Sweden

Wahlberg A, Johnsdotter S, Ekholm Selling K, Källestål C, Essén B

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pricking, classified as female genital cutting (FGC) type IV by the World Health Organization, is an under-researched area gaining momentum among diaspora communities. Our aim was to explore factors associated with being supportive of pricking among Somalis in Sweden. METHODS: In a cross-sectional design, attitudes and knowledge regarding FGC, and measures of socioeconomic status, acculturation, and social capital, were assessed by a 49-item questionnaire in four municipalities in Sweden. Data were collected in 2015 from 648 Somali men and women, ≥ 18 years old, of which 113 supported the continuation of pricking. Logistic regression was used for the
analysis. RESULTS: Those more likely to support the continuation of pricking were older, originally from rural areas, and newly arrived in Sweden. Further, those who reported that they thought pricking was: acceptable, according to their religion (aOR: 10.59, 95% CI: 5.44-20.62); not a violation of children’s rights (aOR: 2.86, 95% CI: 1.46-5.61); and did not cause long-term health complications (aOR: 5.52, 95% CI: 2.25-13.52) had higher odds of supporting pricking. Religion was strongly associated with the support of pricking among both genders. However, for men, children’s rights and the definition of pricking as FGC or not were important aspects in how they viewed pricking, while, for women, health complications and respectability were important. CONCLUSIONS: Values known to be associated with FGC in general are also related to pricking. Hence, there seems to be a change in what types of FGC are supported rather than in their perceived values.

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432 Somali women’s birth experiences in Canada after earlier female genital mutilation

Birth. 2000 Dec;27(4):227-34.
432 Somali women’s birth experiences in Canada after earlier female genital mutilation.
Chalmers B, Hashi KO
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: Women with previous female genital mutilation (sometimes referred to as circumcision) are migrating, with increasing frequency, to countries where this practice is uncommon. Many health care professionals in these countries lack experience in assisting women with female genital mutilation during pregnancy and birth, and they are usually untrained in this aspect of care. Somali women who customarily practice the most extensive form of female mutilation, who were resident in Ontario and had recently given birth to a baby in Canada, were surveyed to explore their perceptions of perinatal care and their earlier genital mutilation experiences.
METHOD: Interviews of 432 Somali women with previous female genital mutilation, who had given birth to a baby in Canada in the past five years, were conducted at their homes by a Somali woman interviewer.
RESULTS: Findings suggested that women’s needs are not always adequately met during their pregnancy and birth care. Women reported unhappiness with both clinical practice and quality of care.
CONCLUSIONS: Changes in clinical obstetric practice are necessary to incorporate women’s perceptions and needs, to use fewer interventions, and to demonstrate greater sensitivity for cross-cultural practices and more respectful treatment than is currently available in the present system of care.

“A Somali girl is Muslim and does not have premarital sex. Is vaccination really necessary?” A qualitative study into the perceptions of Somali women in the Netherlands about the prevention of cervical cancer

Int J Equity Health. 2015 Aug 21;14(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s12939-015-0198-3. FREE

“A Somali girl is Muslim and does not have premarital sex. Is vaccination really necessary?” A qualitative study into the perceptions of Somali women in the Netherlands about the prevention of cervical cancer.

Salad J, Verdonk P, de Boer F, Abma TA

BACKGROUND

INTRODUCTION: Participation in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and Papanicolaou Screening (Pap smears) is low among ethnic minorities in the Netherlands and hardly any information is available about the cervical cancer prevention methods of Somali women living in the diaspora. This qualitative study, based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) and an intersectionality-based framework, explores the perceptions of Somali women living in the Netherlands regarding measures to prevent cervical cancer.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews have been conducted with young Somali women aged 17-21 years (n = 14) and Somali mothers aged 30-46 years (n = 6). Two natural group discussions have been conducted with 12 and 14 Somali mothers aged 23-66 years. The collected data has been analyzed thematically for content.

RESULTS: In this study, we have identified perceived barriers to the use of preventive measures across three major themes: (1) Somali women and preventive healthcare; (2) Language, knowledge, and negotiating decisions; and (3) Sexual standards, culture, and religion. Many issues have been identified across these themes, e.g., distrust of the Dutch health care system or being embarrassed to get Pap smears due to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and having a Dutch, male practitioner; or a perceived low susceptibility to HPV and cancer because of the religious norms that prohibit sex before marriage.

CONCLUSIONS: Current measures in the Netherlands to prevent women from developing cervical cancer hardly reach Somali women because these women perceive these kinds of preventative measures as not personally relevant. Dutch education strategies about cervical cancer deviate from ways of exchanging information within the Somali community. Teachers can provide culturally sensitive information to young Somali women in schools. For Somali mothers, oral education (e.g., poetry or theater) about the Dutch health care system and men’s roles in HPV transmission may be useful. An intersectional approach, grounded in the HBM, is recommended to promote equal access to preventive health care for Somali women.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

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.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Female genital cutting in Hargeisa, Somaliland: is there a move towards less severe forms?

Reprod Health Matters. 2014 May;22(43):169-77. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(14)43759-5.

Female genital cutting in Hargeisa, Somaliland: is there a move towards less severe forms?

Lunde IB, Sagbakken M.

ABSTRACT

According to several sources, little progress is being made in eliminating the cutting of female genitalia. This paper, based on qualitative interviews and observations, explores perceptions of female genital cutting and elimination of the phenomenon in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Two main groups of participants were interviewed: (1) 22 representatives of organisations whose work directly relates to female genital cutting; and (2) 16 individuals representing different groups of society. It was found that there is an increasing use of medical staff and equipment when a girl undergoes the procedure of female genital cutting; the use of terminology is crucial in understanding current perceptions of female genital cutting; religion is both an important barrier and facilitator of elimination; and finally, traditional gender structures are currently being challenged in Hargeisa. The findings of this study suggest that it is important to consider current perceptions on practices of female genital cutting and on abandonment of female genital cutting, in order to gain useful knowledge on the issue of elimination. The study concludes that elimination of female genital cutting is a multifaceted process which is constantly negotiated in a diversity of social settings.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

‘Gosh’: A cross-cultural encounter with a Somali woman, a male interpreter and a gynecologist on female genital cutting/mutilation.

Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Aug 28. pii: S0738-3991(14)00363-2. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.08.014. [Epub ahead of print]

‘Gosh’: A cross-cultural encounter with a Somali woman, a male interpreter and a gynecologist on female genital cutting/mutilation.

Schuster S.

ABSTRACT

I saw the woman for the first time on the gynecological emergency at a Swiss University Women’s Hospital. She was referred for assessment of lower abdominal pain, which turned out to be a ‘cover-up’ for the subsequent case presentation. The 22-years old, married woman had a low proficiency in English and none in German, and was an asylum seeker from Somalia. The history and clinical examination for lower abdominal pain revealed no pathological results – but her female external genitalia presented an unforgettable finding I had never seen before during my clinical career in Switzerland and also in Cameroon.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

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).

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Overactive bladder after female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) type III.

BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Oct 4;2013. pii: bcr2012008155. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2012-008155.

Overactive bladder after female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) type III.

Abdulcadir J, Dällenbach P.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT

A 27-year-old Somali woman with type III a-b female genital mutilation/cutting, consulted because of slow micturition, voiding efforts, urgency and urge incontinence (overactive bladder). She also referred primary dysmenorrhoea and superficial dyspareunia making complete sexual intercourses impossible. We treated her by defibulation and biofeedback re-educative therapy. We also offered a multidisciplinary counselling. At 5 months follow-up, urgency and urge incontinence had resolved and she became pregnant.

This article can be accessed in this LINK