Tag Archives: Tanzania

Changing practices and shifting meanings of female genital cutting among the Maasai of Arusha and Manyara regions of Tanzania.

Cult Health Sex. 2017 Apr 18:1-16. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1313449. [Epub ahead of print]

Changing practices and shifting meanings of female genital cutting among the Maasai of Arusha and Manyara regions of Tanzania.

Van Bavel H, Coene G, Leye E.

ABSTRACT

Using mixed methods that combined participant observation and semi-structured in-depth interviews, this study looked at changing practices and shifting meanings of female genital cutting among the Maasai people in Tanzania. The findings suggest that an increasing social pressure to abandon female genital cutting has inspired the hiding of the practice, causing the actual cutting to become detached from its traditional ceremonial connotations. This detaching of cutting from ceremony has created a shift in meanings: the ceremony still carries the meaning of passage into adulthood, while the cutting seems to function as a way of inscribing Maasai identity into the body. The detaching of genital cutting from ceremony offers those willing to continue the practice the opportunity to do so without being prosecuted, and those unwilling to undergo or perform the practice the opportunity to evade it by faking the cutting without being socially sanctioned for it. Findings also suggest changing attitudes towards the practice among the younger generation as the result of education. Maasai culture and the practice of female genital cutting are not static but actively challenged and reinterpreted from within the community, with formally schooled and women taking up leading roles in reshaping gender norms.

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Female genital cutting in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: changing attitudes?

Trop Med Int Health. 2002 FEB; 7 (2): 159-165

Female genital cutting in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: changing attitudes?

Msuya SE, Mbizvo E, Hussain A, Sundby J, Sam NE, Stray-Pedersen B

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES  To study the prevalence, type, social correlates and attitudes towards female genital cutting (FGC) among urban women in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; and to examine the association between FGC and gynaecological problems, reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and HIV.

METHODS  In 1999, 379 women attending reproductive health care clinics were interviewed and underwent pelvic examination. Specimens for RTI/HIV diagnosis were taken.

RESULTS  Seventeen per cent had undergone FGC, mostly clitoridectomy (97%). Female genital cutting prevalence was significantly lower among educated, Christian and Chagga women. Women aged ≥35 were twice as likely to be cut as those < 25 years. Seventy-six per cent of those who had undergone FGC intend not to perform the procedure on their daughters. Age < 25 years (P < 0.0001) and low parity (P < 0.01) were predictors of that intention. There was no association between RTIs, HIV or hepatitis B and FGC.

CONCLUSION  FGC is still fairly common but there is evidence of a change of attitude towards the practice, especially among young women. The opportunity to educate women who attend reproductive health care facilities on FGC should be taken.

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Self-reported and observed female genital cutting in rural Tanzania: associated demographic factors, HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

Trop Med Int Health. 2005 Jan;10(1):105-15.

Self-reported and observed female genital cutting in rural Tanzania: associated demographic factors, HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

Klouman E, Manongi R, Klepp KI.

Department of General Practice and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. elise.klouman@medisin.uio.no

OBJECTIVES: To determine (i) the prevalence and type of female genital cutting (FGC) in a rural multi-ethnic village in Tanzania, (ii) its associated demographic factors, (iii) its possible associations with HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and infertility and (iv) to assess the consistency between self-reported and clinically observed FGC.

METHOD: The study was part of a larger community-based, cross-sectional survey with an eligible female population of 1993. All were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-tested and asked whether they were circumcised (n = 1678; 84.2%). Participants aged 15-44 years were interviewed (n = 636; 79.7%), and 399 (50.0%) were gynaecologically examined to screen for STIs and determine the FGC status.

RESULTS: At a mean age of 9.6 years, 45.2% reported being circumcised. In the age-group 15-44 years, 65.5% reported being cut, while FGC was observed in 72.5% and categorized as clitoridectomy or excision. The strongest predictors of FGC were ethnicity and religion, i.e. being a Protestant or a Muslim. FGC was not associated with HIV infection, other STIs or infertility. A positive, non-significant association between FGC and bacterial vaginosis was found with a crude odds ratio of 4.6. There was a significant decline of FGC over the last generation. An inconsistency between self-reported and clinically determined FGC status was observed in more than one-fifth of the women.

CONCLUSION: The data indicate that both women and clinicians might incorrectly report women’s circumcision status. This reveals methodological problems in determining women’s circumcision status in populations practising the most common type of FGC. The positive association between FGC and bacterial vaginosis warrants further investigation.

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Regarding “male and female circumcision associated with prevalent HIV infection in virgins and adolescents in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania”.

Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Nov;17(11):923-5; author reply 928-9. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Regarding “male and female circumcision associated with prevalent HIV infection in virgins and adolescents in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania”.

Adams J, Trinitapoli J, Poulin M.

Letter / Comment on Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Mar;17(3):217-26. SEE

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