Female genital mutilation: a form of gender based violence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Gender and Violence
EditorsN. Lombard
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN (Electronic)9781315612997
ISBN (Print)9781472483515
StatePublished - 2018

Abstract

Despite global efforts to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), every year about three million girls and women are at risk of this violence and its potential negative health consequences. An apparent disregard for practising community’s views has led to misinformation about FGM and the pressure by international agencies for countries to enact laws that often contradict the needs of local populations has led to underground practice, particularly in the west. Although western feminists were instrumental to inspiring international attention to FGM, the demonisation and infantilisation of African women and their cultures by white feminism has been inflammatory and contributed to maintaining the violence subjected to girls and women by FGM. Discourse by Africans, including proponents of the practice is limited and eradication efforts implemented from within the affected communities are rarely acknowledged. This chapter seeks to contribute to the developing narrative in which children, women, men, activists, health and social care practitioners, scholars and policy makers’ perspectives are included in the discussion to support future debates and understanding of FGM in order to end this violence against girls and women.

Keywords

  • gender based violence, female genital mutilation, harmful cultural practices