An exploratory study by Senegalese sociologist Fatou Kebe is currently examining a practice of cutting women's vaginal openings, justified by the "removal of warts" (Southieute in Wolof). According to Kebe, this practice is common in the Wolof community in Senegal but is also practiced by the Soces in Dakar.
Hymenotomies are incisions made to the hymen. In some communities, they are performed on girls for non-medical reasons. The practice should not be confused with hymenotomies performed surgically as treatment for women or girls with an unperforated hymen causing abdominal pain.
Piercing can be defined as "an opening in any part of the body through which jewellery can be worn". Among the most common forms of female genital piercing is the clitoral cap, of which there are different types. The clitoral gland or lips can also be pierced. In some cases, the labia minora or labia majora may be pierced one or more times, to be crossed by one or more rings to form a "chastity ring" (Kelly & Foster, 2012).
The piercing the clitoris or surrounding tissue, pricking, is a procedure in which the skin is pricked with a sharp object. Blood may flow but no tissue is removed and no stitching is done. Pricking is practiced in different communities around the world, either as a traditional form of FGM or as a substitute for more extensive excision. The practice is classified by the WHO as Type IV FGM. (WHO, 2008)
In this section we have gathered some of the newspaper articles and reports shared within the CoP FGM during the months of April-June 2020. For a more extensive overview see the UNICEF Annotated Bibliography on "Harmful Practices and Public Health Crises". Accessible here.
In this guide for action, UNICEF presents some key points and ways to continue the fight against FGM in times of COVID-19. Among the solutions proposed in the Agenda for Action are increased use of social networks and mass media to attract attention, reach out to the population and young people, and strengthen emergency and hotlines.
The following Webinars and Podcasts were organized or shared by members during the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started many people remembered the Ebola pandemic and wondered what - if anything - we could learn from the impact that Ebola had on FGM.
During COVID-19 the members of the CoP FGM have kept busy and have adapted their work, developed adapted tools and published papers and articles related to FGM, women and girls’ rights or SRHR in times of COVID-19. In this sections you will find some resourced developed by and/or shared by members.
There is very little research focusing specifically on FGM and mental health, and there are even less in developing countries. Most research was done on migrant girls and women in developed countries. In this way, it is difficult to draw conclusions on FGM consequences on mental health as the migratory journey and the confrontation with new social norms and beauty standards have a strong influence on the perception of herself, on the general well-being and mental health of concerned women