Female "circumcision" in Africa: Culture, Controversy, and Change

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Bettina Shell-Duncan, Ylva Hernlund
Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000 - Social Science - 349 pages
Though the issue of female genital cutting, or circumcision, has become a nexus for debates on cultural relativism, human rights, patriarchal oppression, racism, and Western imperialism, the literature has been separated by diverse fields of study. In contrast, this volume brings together contributors from anthropology, public health, political science, demography, history, and epidemiology to critically examine current debates and initiatives, and to explore the role that scholars can and should or should not play in approaching the issue. Case studies from nine African countries where female genital cutting (FGC) is traditionally and currently performed evaluate the impact of international efforts to eliminate the practice. A focus on local reactions to external involvement underscores that the myriad programs fashioned to effect changes in FGC ritual and procedure must be initiated and supported by indigenous communities if they are to be lasting and effective. -- From product description.
 

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Female "circumcision" in Africa: culture, controversy, and change

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In their excellent introduction to this collection of essays, the editors (an assistant professor and a graduate student, both from the University of Washington's anthropology department) write that ... Read full review

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With the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), i have always been bitter. I could not possibly understand the legitimate reasons for the practice. And I feel that the health risks and psychological trauma outweigh the reason. why? I had questions. Why can’t the government eradicate such heinous practice? Why are women putting their daughters in painful procedures? These Procedures are not only detrimental to a woman’s health, but it also affects her physiologically. Although I still opposed the practice, but many of my questions have been answered. Great Read!  

Contents

Is Female Circumcision a Maladaptive Cultural Pattern?
41
To Marry and Bear Children? The Demographic Consequences
55
Female Circumcision Among the Yoruba of Southwestern
73
Views of Nigerian
95
The Debate over Medicalization
109
Lessons from
129
Responses from Sudanese Feminists
151
Numu Women and the Campaign
193
The Beginning of the
253
An InsiderOutsider Reflects
283
Bibliography
313
The Contributors
331
About the Book 349
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