Publication
Title
Rethinking the definition of medicalized female genital mutilation/cutting
Author
Abstract
In 2015, the international community agreed to end Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) by 2030. However, the target is unlikely to be met as changes in practice, including medicalized female genital mutilation/cutting (mFGM/C), challenge abandonment strategies. This paper critically reviews the current World Health Organization (WHO) definition of mFGM/C to demonstrate that mFGM/C, as currently defined, lacks detail and clarity, and may serve as an obstacle to the collection of credible, reliable, and comparable data relevant to targeted FGM/C prevention policies and programs. The paper argues that it is necessary to initiate a discussion on the revision of the current WHO definition of mFGM/C, where different components (who-how-where-what) should be taken into account. This is argued by discussing different scenarios that compare the current WHO definition of mFGM/C with the actual practice of FGM/C on the ground. The cases discussed within these scenarios are based on existing published research and the research experience of the authors. The scenarios focus on countries where mFGM/C is prevalent among girls under 18 years, using data from Demographic Health Surveys and/or Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, and thus the focus is on the Global South. The paper places its arguments in relation to wider debates concerning female genital cosmetic surgery, male genital circumcision and consent. It calls for more research on these topics to ensure that definitions of FGM/C and mFGM/C reflect the real-world contexts and ensure that the human rights of girls and women are protected.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Archives of sexual behavior. - New York, N.Y., 1971, currens
Publication
New York, N.Y. : 2024
ISSN
0004-0002 [print]
1573-2800 [online]
DOI
10.1007/S10508-023-02772-7
Volume/pages
53 :2 (2024) , p. 441-453
ISI
001152531900002
Pubmed ID
38286965
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 30.01.2025
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 14.02.2024
Last edited 11.04.2024
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