Challenges in combatting female genital mutilation: narratives of black Sub-Saharan African (BSSA) women in the English west Midlands region

Nyashanu, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-9231-0393 and Mguni, M., 2021. Challenges in combatting female genital mutilation: narratives of black Sub-Saharan African (BSSA) women in the English west Midlands region. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. ISSN 2056-4902

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Purpose: It is believed that more than 120 million women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) and more than 2 million young girls are at risk of undergoing FGM. FGM is practiced in different parts of the world. With globalisation and the increased movement of people across the globe, FGM is now a global problem. While ending FGM remains a priority, the approaches and strategies being used have generated contested views across the social divide. The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges in combatting FGM as experienced by Black Sub-Saharan African (BSSA) women in Diaspora.

Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach. Narratives were collected from 40 BSSA women from 20 Sub-Saharan African countries living in the English West Midlands region. A thematic approach underpinned by the four phases of data analysis in the Silences Framework were used to analyse the data.

Findings: The research study found that stigmatisation of survivors, utilisation of graphic images in FGM awareness, exclusion of practising communities' gatekeepers in FGM interventions, conflation of religion and FGM practice and obsession with securing a conviction were obstacles in combating FGM. Diaspora community-driven studies exploring FGM and contested notions in addressing it from women perspectives are scarce.

Originality/value: This study pulls together the experiences of BSSA women and their perspectives on contested notions in combating FGM in the UK. The debate asserts the growing need to consider gender sensitive radical interventions, which involves educating perpetrators and gatekeepers among FGM practising communities.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare
Creators: Nyashanu, M. and Mguni, M.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 1 June 2021
ISSN: 2056-4902
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 07 Jun 2021 13:32
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2021 13:32

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