FGM in Sudan

Female genital mutilation is defined by the World Health
Organization as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the
external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for
non-medical reasons. There are serious life threatening complications with
cultural atrocity. These include but are not limited to sever pain, infection,
shock, injury to adjacent organs, broken bones, acute urinary infection,
tetanus, and death. According to Regent’s College, eighty million girls and
women, that are living today, have been subjected to this inhumane procedure.
The number of women who have died from or as result of complications from the
procedure is unknown.

The origins of the practice go as far back as Ancient Egypt.
The factors that facilitate the procedural ideology center around the belief
that female genital mutilation is necessary to raise a girl correctly. Female
genital mutilation, according to followers of the practice, allows women to rid
themselves of all male body parts(clitoris) which allows them to become a
complete woman. The Research, Action and Information Network for the Bodily
Integrity of Women, also known as RAINBO, have been instrumental in attempting
to change the belief system that has been ingrained throughout the country. The
idea that achieving the ultimate level of motherhood is necessary by FGM, has
been the main opposing belief.

The research that I found was conducted by several
physicians. The principal physician was Dr. Almroth. Their research focused on
determining the relationship between FGM and primary infertility. They believed
that infections that occur from FGM could possibly ascend into internal
genitalia. This can cause inflammation and scarring which leads to tubal-factor
infertility. After examining 99 infertile women, almost half of the women fit
into their hypothesis. They concluded that FGM and primary infertility had a
strong positive association. Their research will be another instrumental
component to fighting the current cultural norms in Sudan.








1 thought on “FGM in Sudan

  1. From my perspective and according to this information of FGM, it seems the anthropologist used a combination of the ethnomedical, biological, and applied approaches to evaluate the global health problem of FGM in Sudan. The ethnomedical approach deals with the cultural context and traditions of healing within a community. In this case, FGM is the social norm in Sudan to be considered a complete woman and to become capable and worthy of motherhood. The biological approach was used in establishing a connection between the infections as a result of FGM spreading to internal genitalia, leading to inflammation and scarring. The applied approach is also used, as the research performed was developed for a specific group with a specific medical condition, being Sudanese females experiencing infertility and other severe complications as a direct result of infection from FGM procedures.

    Applying anthropology contributed to a better understanding of female genital mutilation in Sudan because it allowed for the consideration of the practice as a traditional cultural norm that is widely practiced in Sudan to prevent females from participating in pre-marital sex. Within the context of Sudanese culture, this procedure is looked at as a sort of ritual into womanhood that sets a female apart from a male, however in our culture this would be considered a violation of human rights. With the use of anthropology, FGM is better translated across cultures.

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