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|Title: ||Thhe Social Dimension of Female Genital Cutting (FGC): The Case of Harari|
|Authors: ||Mandy, Lindner|
|Advisors: ||Ato Asnake Hailu|
|Copyright: ||2008 |
|Date Added: ||22-Jan-2009 |
|Publisher: ||Addis Ababa University|
|Abstract: ||This study is concerned with female genital cutting (FGC) which describes all procedures
that are related to cutting the female genitalia because of non-therapeutic reasons. Four types
of FGC can be distinguished, of which “sunna”, the removal of the clitoris, is the “lightest”
one, whereas in the case of infibulation most of the female genitals are removed and the leftover
sewn closed afterwards.
FGC is mainly practiced in 28 African countries, but also appearing in Europe, North-
America and Australia due to migration. An estimated 140 million girls and women are
expected to have undergone one of the 4 types of FGC worldwide. About 3 million girls are at
risk to experience female circumcision every year. The practice of FGC is a threat to humans’
and hence women’s rights and furthermore one expression of continued gender inequality and
the superiority of men. It is practiced for decades and even many centuries, is a cross-cultural
as well as cross-religious issue.
Harar is of main interest within this study paper, because of its high prevalence of the most
severe type of FGC, infibulation. In Ethiopian context, it is the fourth highest prevalence rate
and occurrence of FGC in general is widely spread. What did it make being practiced so
frequently, which sources are cited to justify its continuance?
For generating answers on these questions, a survey has been conducted among 177 women
and men. Since the survey only works as supplement, the data collection concentrated on
qualitative sources like in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and observation.
Women who underwent female circumcision, but also men have been interviewed to get to
know the underlying reasons to practice and maintain FGC, the most common complications
which resulted from the practice and the attitudes regarding its continuance.
The outcome of the study shows that the majority of the Hararis are nowadays aware about
the complications of FGC which is owed to a common effort of community and religious
leaders and government offices to enlighten the people, to create awareness.
The major reasons for the practice have been the reduction of females’ sexual feelings and
enjoyments and the fear of offspring out of wedlock. Although infibulation and its side effects
on women’s health are known and hence a shift to “sunna” was advocated, especially elderly
women are still supporting at least this kind of FGC. In contrary, the young generation is no
longer willing to accept a practice which brought so much harm on the affected girls and
women solely because they have natural feelings. Hence, since FGC is also not obligatory by
Islam as many young people know, they have been sure not to practice female circumcision
on their daughters in the future|
|Description: ||A thesis submitted to the Graduate School of Addis Ababa University
in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of
Arts (M.A.) in Social Anthropology.|
|Appears in:||Thesis - Social Anthropology |
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