female genital mutilation n.
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Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation

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Female genital mutilation

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  1. Female genital mutilation Jenna Ferguson Women’s Studies 301:Fall 2008 Leisha Jones 10-01-08

  2. introduction • “Feminist researchers in several disciplines have argued that female genital surgeries are a manifestation of gender inequalities and ‘patriarchy’ in the societies where they are found.” • Where is female genital mutilation practiced (FGM)? • How many has FGM affected already?

  3. introduction

  4. introduction

  5. Origin/roots • “The British Museum houses a Greek papyrus dated 163 B.C. that mentions girls in Egypt being circumcised when they receive their dowries.” • How practice began: unknown • Population control • Man’s desire to control female sexuality

  6. Types of female genital mutilation • Clitoridectomy (Type 1) • Clitoral hood is removed along with part or the entire clitoris • Excision (Type 2) • Clitoral hood and clitoris are removed in addition to partial or total excision of the labia minora • Infibulation (Type 3): Most Dangerous • Removes tissue from the external genitalia and results in the stitching and narrowing of the vagina • Unclassified (Type 4) • Includes other procedures such as piercing, stretching, and burning of the clitoris

  7. Types of female genital mutilation continued…

  8. Age and procedure • Between infancy and twelve years of age • Why so early? • Tools • Birth attendants • Procedure

  9. Justifications for fgm • Psycho-sexual • “Women are frightened into doing away with their sexual organ, created solely for sexual pleasure, in the same way that Freud used propaganda through psychology to influence women to abandon clitoral orgasm.” • Arguments: Without excision: women can kill baby, women can kill husband, women are not worthy of being married • Example: The Dogon and Bambara tribes

  10. Justifications for fgm continued… • Religious • Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, and atheists’ • Changing Views • 17th and 18th Century Roman Catholic Church • Sociological • Rite of passage into adulthood • Contradiction lies in the age girls are having the procedure done • Hygiene and Aesthetics • In many African countries, women who are uncircumcised are considered dirty, unworthy, and ugly • Beauty: leaders persuade woman to have the procedure done in order to gain “spiritual purity” and thus become beautiful

  11. Consequences of fgm • Physical (short and long term) • Short Term • Violent pain, hemorrhaging, shock, urine retention, and the spread of diseases (HIV and Hepatitis B) • Death: According to Dr. Rosemary Mburu, a Kenyan gynecologist, “15 per cent of all circumcised females die of bleeding or infections.” It is also estimated that, “out of 1,000 females who undergo female genital mutilation 70 women die as a result.” • Long Term • Vaginal stones, genital tumors, cysts, and urinary/kidney infections • Dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation due to the lack of blood naturally flowing)

  12. Consequences of fgm continued… • Psychological • On one hand… • Girls are taught that their livelihood depends on them marrying and starting a family • Not being excised can cause feelings of depression and marginalization • On other hand… • Anxiety, terror, pain, humiliation, betrayal • Depression and post traumatic stress

  13. Consequences of fgm continued… • Sexual • Marriage and being de-infibulated • Women who have had FGM find it almost impossible to enjoy intercourse with their spouse and felt the act is more of an obligation than anything else • In 1993 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) studied Sudanese women and their sexuality; they found that, “5.5 percent of women interviewed experienced painful intercourse and 9.3 percent reported having difficult or impossible penetration”

  14. What is being done • Programs that are being implemented • Circumcision through Words (Kenya) • Instead of traditional rites of passage (cutting), brings young women together for a week of privacy to talk about roles as women, health, hygiene, communication, self-esteem, and peer pressure • Tolstan (Senegal) • Ongoing campaign to raise awareness about FGM. Through storytelling, discussions, and role playing entire villages are addressed about critical issues and health risks. They are not attacked and told to stop, which is why the program is having a positive outcome