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Religious Tolerance logo

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Books and reports

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Sponsored link.

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Books on FGM:

bulletFauziya Kassindja, et al., "Do They Hear You When You Cry?"

A reader of our site commented on this book: "It was wonderful and very educational; I really recommend it." The book describes the experiences of a 17 year old woman who escaped from her West African village just hours before she was scheduled to be mutilated. She made it to the U.S. where she was faced with an immigration nightmare. 5 book reviews on the Amazon.com site each rated the book a rating of 5 out of 5! Some excerpts are:

bullet"Fauziya recounts her harrowing ordeals in both Africa and the United States with eloquence and remarkable depth."
bullet"The two stories together, full of good guys and bad guys, lush landscapes, barren prison cells, love, courage, despair, and cruelty make a dark fairy tale, a sprawling adventure, a nightmare, out of an astonishing true story."
bullet"It's been a long time since I've read a book that has moved me like this one has."
bullet"EXCELLENT!!!!!!!! I enjoyed this book. It is the best book I have read this year."
bullet"...I was vaguely familiar with Fauziya's story. However, nothing prepared me for the profoundly gripping experiences that make up this book."
bullet"This is an unsettling, outrageous, and ultimately outstanding tale of remarkable courage and strength..."

The book is: Fauziya Kassindja, Layli Miller Bashir, Gini Kopecky, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, "Do They Hear You When You Cry?," Bantam Doubleday Dell Books (1998). It is available on cassette from Amazon.com books. It is also available in hardcover from Amazon. Each version can be purchased at less than $10 plus shipping, as of 2002-AUG.

bulletS.M. James, & C.C. Robertson, Eds., "Genital cutting and transnational sisterhood: Disputing U.S. polemics," University of Illinois Press, (2002). This is bound to be a controversial publication. A book review at Amazon.com states that the book: "critiques the sources that perpetuate the harmful myths that all African women have been mutilated and promote doing so to their children, that those who perform it are barbaric, and that families who allow it are abusive. With sensitivity and clarity, the contributors to 'Genital Cutting and Transnational Sisterhood' provide necessary and alternative suggestions for the eradication of the most harmful procedures which they feel can only occur when the leadership of African women in the ongoing campaigns is acknowledged and supported, and when income generation for African women and education of the U.S. public, rather than criminalization, become primary strategies." You can read reviews and/or order the book safely from Amazon.com's online bookstore.
bulletSami Aldeeb, "Male and female circumcision." The author is staff legal adviser for Arab and Islamic Law at Swiss Institute of Comparative Law. He has written a number of books on FGM: 
bulletIn English:
bullet"Male and female circumcision among Jews, Christians and Muslims: religious, medical, social and legal debate," Shangri-La Publications, (2001) Read reviews and/or order the book safely from Amazon.com
bulletIn Arabic
bulletThe first volume, 561 pages, is about male and female circumcision among Jews, Christians and Muslims -- the religious debate. It is published by Riad El-Rayyes (Sanayeh, Union Building, P.O.Box 113-5796, Beirut). It contains 25 annexes of about 100 pages: old and recent texts, fatwas and opinions on this subject from the Muslim world, two of them never published before. The famous Egyptian physician and writer, Dr. Nawal El-Saadawi, wrote a foreword of six pages. An English translation of the foreword, was available at http://members.nbci.com/, but seems to be offline. An Arabic translation of the foreword is at: http://www.lpj.org/
bulletThe second volume, under press at the same publisher, is about medical, social and legal debate.
bulletIn French
bulletThe French version, 539 pages, covers the religious, medical, social and legal debates. It was scheduled to be published by L'Harmattan, Paris in 2001.

You can contact the author at Sami.Aldeeb@isdc-dfjp.unil.ch


Research Action and Information Network for the bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO) has a list of books, pamphlets for African immigrants and refugees to the U.S., and other publications on FGM which they stock for sale. See: http://www.rainbo.org/publications/publications.html

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Medical information on FGM:

Until recently, little medical information had been available to help physicians in the treatment of female victims of FGM. With the influx of thousands of African and Asian immigrants annually, medical personnel in the U.S., Canada and UK need basic information about FGM in order to handle the medical and obstetric implications of FGM.

bullet Beverley Chalmers & Kowser Omer-Hashi: "Female Genital Mutilation and Obstetric Care," Trafford, (2003). Amazon.com describes the book as providing: "...a valuable resource for those concerned with the Obstetric, Midwifery and Nursing care of women who have previously undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Unique information on the practice of FGM is also provided from a multidisciplinary viewpoint. Embedded n a global perspective, the book integrates social, cultural, religious, psychological and sexual information with appropriate medical and obstetrical care....The book is ideally suited to practicing professionals as well as students in Obstetrics, Midwifery and Nursing. It is also of value to Lawyers, Social Workers, Psychologists, Teachers, and others in the helping professions who care for women or children with FGM. In his foreword to the book, Professor Mahmoud Fathalla (Assiut University Egypt, and Past President of FIGO) highly recommends the book for global application. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
bulletResearch, Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO), a New York, NY, sells a booklet on care for FGM affected women. 4
bulletThe American College of Ob/Gyns has a FGM treatment training kit. 5
bulletRising Daughters Aware, an Oakland CA agency provides a "FGM Crash Course for Health Professionals." 6
bulletThe Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has produced a information sheet: "Female Genital Mutilation: Information for Australian health professionals." 7

There are few clinics in the West which specialize in treating complications arising from FGM. Two are:

bulletComfort Momoh's "African Well Woman Clinic" in London, England.
bulletDr. Nawal Nour's clinic at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA.

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Sponsored link:

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Additional information on FGM.

bullet"Discussions of Female Circumcision," H Net, Three articles http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~africa/
bulletMolly Ryan, "Universalism vs. Relativism in Human Rights: Implications for Human Rights Practice: Female Circumcision/Genital Mutilation," 1997-Fall, at: http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/

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See also links to web sites on FGM

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  1. "Church speaks out against female genital mutilation," at: http://www.adventist.org/ (Now offline)
  2. Rising Daughters Aware: Order forms, Section 11," at:  http://www.fgm.org/ (Now offline)
  3. Publications, RAINBO, at: http://www.rainbo.org/publications/publications.html  
  4. Nahid Toubia, "Caring for women with circumcision: A technical manual for health care providers." Order from  http://www.rainbo.org/publications/publications.html
  5. "Female Circumcision/Female Genital Mutilation: Clinical Management of Circumcised Women" ACOG, #AA319. May be purchased from 1-800-762-2264, or from the Resource Catalog Section of ACOG's web site at http://www.acog.org .
  6. "FGM Crash Course for Health Professionals," Rising Daughters Aware, 160 pages, at:  http://www.fgm.org/Instructions.html FREE This web site appears to have been discontinued.
  7. "Female Genital Mutilation: Information for Australian health professionals," Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, at: http://www.ranzcog.edu.au/
  8. Tostan: Women's Health and Human Rights is a non-governmental organization based in Senegal, West Africa, run by local people, and
    funded primarily by UNICEF. See: http://www.tostan.org/

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See our news feed on women's issues. It shows 20 current news items, and is updated every 15 minutes.

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Copyright 1998 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 1998-MAR-13

Last updated 2007-MAR-10
Author: Bruce A Robinson

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