INTERGENERATIONAL EXPERIENCES OF FEMALE GENITAL CUTTING/MUTILATION AMONG WOMEN OF SUDANESE ORIGIN IN MASSACHUSETTS, USA
Mohamed, Enas Ahmed Elzubeir
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CitationMohamed, Enas Ahmed Elzubeir. 2021. INTERGENERATIONAL EXPERIENCES OF FEMALE GENITAL CUTTING/MUTILATION AMONG WOMEN OF SUDANESE ORIGIN IN MASSACHUSETTS, USA. Master's thesis, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractFemale genital cutting (FGC) plays a major role in increasing the gender gap in the Sudanese community. The FGC experience breaks women’s self-trust from childhood and makes them submissive and subservient to a world controlled by men.
In this paper, I will share a true story of a girl who underwent the FGC practice to help the readers understand the cultural importance of the practice in the Sudanese community, regardless of the pain and suffering the female child goes through. This paper will begin with a general overview of the FGC practice. Next, from a medical perspective, the paper will discuss the different FGC types and their complications. Following that, the paper will explore the history of FGC in Sudan and the Islamic perspective regarding FGC. Specifically, the paper will explain how the FGC practice is not mentioned in the Quran or by the Prophet Mohamed Hadith. Next, using a feminist lens to look at a selection of Sudanese states, the paper will explore how women and the practice of FGC have been affected by the patriarchal political struggles. Sudanese women were feminists and pioneers before Omar Al Bashir’s leadership. Under the complex system of rule created by him, women were oppressed.
Finally, the FGC practice is deeply internalized by Sudanese women and men, even outside of Sudan. This practice in the community has remained highly influenced by their mental enslavement to patriarchal power. For Sudanese women who have immigrated to Massachusetts, this practice has created challenges for them in their new home country. Thus, establishing the African Women's Health Center (AWHC) in July 1999 at the Brigham and Women's Hospital has been especially important for this community. It provides infibulated women (who have undergone the most aggressive FGC) with specialized care and surgical techniques created by Dr. Nawal Noor. Finally, 2020 was a turning point as both Massachusetts and Sudan finally passed legislation banning the FGC practice and making it a criminal offense.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368599