Female genital mutilation in developing countries: An agenda for public health response

Susan D. Jones, John Ehiri, Ebere Anyanwu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is uncertainty regarding reasons for persistence of the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and the best strategies for intervening effectively. In spite of strong international condemnation, the persistence of FGM in many countries suggests that it can only be effectively eliminated when its practitioners are presented with a safe alternative that preserves their culture and, at the same time, protects the health and well being of women. Recognizing that there is no simple solution to the problem, this paper argues that interventions for preventing FGM should be non-directive, culture-specific and multi-faceted to be of practical relevance. Such interventions should not only motivate change, but should also help communities to establish practical means by which that change can occur. Potentially effective prevention interventions targeted at local practitioners of FGM, parents, at-risk adolescents, health and social workers, governments, religious authorities, the civil society, and communities are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume116
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cultural diversity
  • Female circumcision
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Gender and health
  • Gender-based violence
  • Harmful traditional practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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