Female genital mutilation

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Discussion of female genital mutilation/cutting data in Australia

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
There is only limited information available on the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Australia. Though a report on estimates was produced earlier in the year, it was based on several assumptions and data limitations. Following on from that report, this paper investigates what relevant data sources exist in Australia, the potential service contexts in which data are - or could be - captured, and what steps might be taken to improve systematic collection. One potential source is the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD), and this paper looks at its utility through an analysis of NHMD data from 2015-16 to 2017-18 on the 477 episodes of admitted patient care where FGM/C was recorded as relevant to the care a patient received.

Towards estimating the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting in Australia

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This paper provides estimates on the potential number of women and girls in Australia who may have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in their lifetime. These numbers are modelled estimates only, calculated by combining international survey data with Australian population estimates, but they provide insight into the potential extent of FGM/C in Australia and can help with policy and planning. The paper also provides background information on types of FGM/C, the reasons it is performed, the health consequences, prevalence rates in countries where it is still performed, other research from Australia on FGM/C, and how the estimates were calculated. It is estimated that 53,000 girls and women born elsewhere but living in Australia in 2017 had undergone FGM/C during their lifetime, or 0.4% of Australia's overall female population.

Rapid review on safeguarding to inform the Healthy Child Programme 5 to 19

Axford N
London : Public Health England, 2018
The 'Healthy Child Programme for 5 to 19 year-olds' sets out the good practice framework for prevention and early intervention services in England. This rapid review was commissioned to update the evidence supporting the framework's guidance on safeguarding. It synthesises new research from 2006 to 2015 on what works in addressing child abuse and neglect, child sexual abuse and exploitation, intimate partner violence, female genital mutilation, and gang violence. Workforce skills and training and intervention cost-effectiveness are also reviewed. A short overview and a technical appendix are also available separately.

The state of the world's children 2017: children in a digital world

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2017.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialised countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2017 edition also examines the ways in which digital technology has already changed children's lives and life chances - and explores what the future may hold. It discusses education and learning in a digital world, barriers to connectivity and gender gaps, online risks and harms, civic engagement online, and digital life and dependency.

Sexual and reproductive health of migrant and refugee women: research report and recommendations for healthcare providers and community workers

Ussher J, Metusela C, Hawkey A and Perz J
Penrith, N.S.W. : Centre for Health Research, Western Sydney University, 2017
Migrant and refugee communities underutilise sexual and reproductive health services, which can result in a lack of information for informed decision-making and poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. This study explores how sexual and reproductive health is experienced and understood by recent migrant and refugee women, living in New South Wales, Australia, and Vancouver, Canada, and so identify unmet sexual and reproductive health needs and barriers to accessing information and services. 169 women were asked about menstruation and menopause, contraception, sexual relationships, female genital cutting, sexual health screening, and use of sexual health services. This report discusses the findings and presents recommendations to healthcare providers for culturally safe sexual and reproductive care.

Female genital mutilation in children presenting to Australian paediatricians.

Zurynski Y, Phu A, Sureshkumar P, Cherian S, Deverell M and Elliott E
Archives of Disease in Childhood v. 102 no. 6 2017: 509-515
This article provides the first community survey on the extent of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Australia. The survey was conducted with 1,003 paediatricians and other child health specialists in 2014 on the number of cases seen over the last 5 years, as well as demographics, FGM/C type, complications, and referral. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is an ancient cultural practice that predates the Bible and the Koran and is practiced globally, predominantly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. However, in Australia, it is recognised as physical abuse under child protection laws. This study adds to the knowledge base on the prevalence and nature of FGM/C in western countries, and includes comparisons with the only other known study, from London, England. It concludes with a call for a systematic approach to screening and data collection.

Female genital mutilation: abuse unchecked

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Home Affairs Committee
London : The House of Commons, 2016.
In 2014, the British Government inquired into the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) and called for action. A follow-up inquiry in 2015 concluded that insufficient progress had been made in addressing this problem, particularly in relation to prosecutions. This report constitutes a second follow-up of progress, and draws on a roundtable meeting hosted by the Government in July 2016 that brought together survivors, grassroots organisations, clinicians, representatives from the criminal justice system and educationalists. The report discusses prevalence and issues of measurement, integrating prevention policies across government agencies, prosecuting FGM offences, and mandatory reporting. The report reiterates that FGM is not a religious or cultural rite of passage that deserves protection - it is a horrific crime - and presents additional recommendations for measurement and prevention.

Female genital mutilation : survey of paediatricians' knowledge, attitudes and practice.

Sureshkumar P, Zurynski Y, Moloney S, Raman S, Varol N and Elliott E
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 55 May 2016: 1-9
This article investigates paediatricians' experience with female genital mutilation (FGM) in Australia. It presents the findings of a national survey of paediatricians regarding their knowledge, attitudes and clinical experience with FGM, and their awareness of clinical guidelines. 10.3% of respondents had seen at least one case of FGM in girls aged under 18 years old, most were aware that FGM is illegal in Australia, and many - 81.8% - knew it was a notifiable offence. The implications for training and education are also briefly discussed.

The state of the world's children 2016: a fair chance for every child

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2016.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialized countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2016 edition also highlights the issue of inequity, with millions of children's lives blighted for no other reason than the country, the community, the gender or the circumstances into which they are born. Though the world has made tremendous progress, there are constraints due to political commitment and collective will. The report describes the the terrible impact on children by 2030 if we don't act now.

Female genital mutilation and cutting : a systematic literature review of health professionals' knowledge, attitudes and clinical practice.

Zurynski Y, Sureshkumar P, Phu A and Elliott E
BMC International Health and Human Rights v. 15 2015: Article 32
This article presents a systematic review of the literature on health professionals' knowledge, clinical practice, and attitudes to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Of the research reviewed, study participants included largely obstetricians, gynaecologists and midwives - none of the studies focused on paediatricians specifically. The findings confirm that health professionals in western nations are encountering FGM/C in their practice, but that levels of knowledge on the law and impact of FGM/C vary - requiring further education and training.

Interventions to prevent or reduce violence against women and girls: a systematic review of reviews

Arango D
Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group, 2014
This paper was commissioned to help inform a new study on empowering women and girls. The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development states that freedom from the risk of violence is among the key aspects of ensuring that women and girls have the ability to make meaningful choices in their lives. To that end, this paper provides a systematic review of reviews to gather evidence on what is known about the impact of interventions to reduce and prevent violence against women and girls, including child sexual abuse, harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage, intimate partner violence, and non-partner sexual abuse. Overall, the current evidence base is growing but still highly limited.

The state of the world's children 2015: reimagine the future

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2014.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialized countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2015 edition also marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, with case studies on the work of young innovators who are reimagining the future.

Caught between two cultures: young African women's sexual and reproductive health project.

Abubaker N
Women's Health West, 2014
This project aims to enhance young African women's confidence, independence and capacity to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. In particular it is focused on female genital mutilation and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health. A series of consultations were held with young women, parents, community and religious leaders to ascertain their knowledge and attitudes towards these issues. From these consultations it is hoped to develop a culturally sensitive sexual and reproductive health promotion project.

Exploring the links: female genital mutilation/cutting and early marriage

World Vision UK
Milton Keynes England : World Vision UK, 2014.
An earlier study by WorldVision found anecdotal evidence to suggest that changes in the way that communities practised female genital mutilation/cutting in Somalia had led a number of girls to feel pressured to marry at an early age. This research report explores this issue further. It examines evidence from World Vision's programmes in Africa where both these practices are prevalent to examine the links between the practices of female genital mutilation/cutting and early marriage, the social drivers, the prevalence and consequences of these practices, and lessons and recommendations to change social norms and prevent female genital mutilation/cutting and early marriage.

The state of the world's children 2014 - in numbers : every child counts : revealing disparities, advancing children's rights.

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF), 2014.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialized countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2014 edition also takes a moment to highlight the role and power of data and statistical evidence in helping to identify the children at greatest risk and address disadvantage.

A tradition in transition: female genital mutilation/cutting : a literature review, an overview of prevention programs and demographic data for Victoria, Australia

Costello S, Quinn M, Tatchell A, Jordan L, Neophytou K and James C
Box Hill, Vic. : Family Planning Victoria, 2014.
This report presents an audit of female genital mutilation in Victoria. This practice - also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision - is a significant global human rights issue yet is also defended in some communities as being connected with beautification. This report features four sections. The introduction discusses the issues involved and the countries where it is practiced. The literature review presents current knowledge on types of female genital mutilation/cutting, language and definitions, health consequences, culture and religion, feminist debates, human and child rights, law, the impact of migration to western countries on traditional practices, and factors promoting and hindering female genital mutilation/cutting. The third section discusses prevention programs in countries where female genital mutilation/cutting is practiced and in non-practicing countries that host migrants and refugees. The fourth section is only available online, and presents more detailed statistics on settlement patterns in Victoria - by shire and council area - to assist agencies involved in service planning and policy development.

Improving the health care of women and girls affected by female genital mutilation/cutting: a national approach to service coordination

Jordan L, Neophytou K and James C
Box Hill, Vic. : Family Planning Victoria, 2014.
This resource provides information and support to health and community service providers working with women and girls affected by female genital mutilation/cutting. It presents background information on the causes and impacts of female genital mutilation/cutting, provides guidance on service coordination and principles, and features a flow chart on supporting the care of women and girls, including needs assessment and duty of care. The resource aims to improve care and referral pathways for women and girls and to improve the capacity of service providers to identify at risk people.

Untying the knot: exploring early marriage in fragile states

Myers J
Milton Keynes England : World Vision UK, 2013.
"[F]earing threats, and encouraged or coerced into marriage as a means of protection, nearly one-in-three girls in developing countries will marry before the age of 18 ... Children having children continues to be a common phenomenon across the developing world, with deaths caused by early pregnancy and birth complications the biggest cause of mortality for girls aged 15-19. Beyond the physical harm they face, is the complete loss of childhood. Children who marry do not play with their friends, are often not attending school, do not have access to opportunities for their future, and are confined within roles which bring responsibilities that they did not choose and often do not understand. This report unravels the links between fragility and early marriage. By showing how marriage is used as a perceived means of 'protection' for girls, this report is a unique contribution to the evidence base of factors driving early marriage prevalence. Revealing the complex causes of this harmful practice,WorldVision also identifies key actions that can be taken, both globally and by the UK Government, to reduce the stress on communities and provide families with alternative, effective means of really protecting their daughters."

Review of Australia's female genital mutilation legal framework: final report

Australia. Attorney-General's Dept.
Barton, ACT : Attorney General's Dept., 2013.
At present, female genital mutilation is criminalised across all states and territories of Australia, and is prohibited both within Australia and for Australian residents overseas. laws. However, there are areas of inconsistency in these laws, regarding penalties, age coverage, and the extraterritorial application of offences. This report reviews the laws of each state and territory and evaluates whether they are effective and sufficient in comprehensively criminalising female genital mutilation.

Female genital mutilation

World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland : Dept. of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, c2012.
Female genital mutilation - also referred to as female genital cutting and female circumcision - is recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and a reflection of deep-rooted inequality. This information sheet explains the issue of female genital mutilation and how can might be addressed. It discusses its prevalence, social and health consequences, economic costs, social and cultural risk factors, trends in attitudes and practices, the medicalisation of female genital mutilation, and the best approaches to ending this type of violence towards women.

The missing link: a joined up approach to addressing harmful practices in London

Roy S, Ng P, Larasi I, Dorkenoo E and Macfarlane A
London : End Violence Against Women, 2011.
This study was commissioned to identify and report on harmful practices against black, minority ethnic and refugee women and girls in London. Harmful practices - also known as harmful traditional practices - has been defined as 'forms of violence that have been committed against women in certain communities and societies for so long that they are considered part of accepted cultural practice', including female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and honor killings. The report identifies harmful practices in London boroughs, outlines the legislative and policy framework for these practices, identifies existing support services and emerging best practice in the sector, and presents recommendations for service and policy intervention and development.

Female genital mutilation : Australian law, policy and practical challenges for doctors.

Mathews B
Medical Journal of Australia v. 194 no. 3 7 Feb 2011: 139-141
This article looks at the increased demand for 'ritual nicks' - or female genital mutilation - in Australia and the issues for the medical profession. It discusses the practice of female genital mutilation, the rise in immigrants in Australia from countries where this is practiced, Australian law about female genital mutilation, the justification of legal prohibition, and how medical practitioners might respond.

Man made : men, masculinities and equality in public policy

Ruxton S
London : Coalition on Men and Boys, 2009.
"This report by the Coalition on Men and Boys provides a unique, in-depth picture of the circumstances and needs of men and boys in England and Wales, and the issues they currently face. It also seeks to: analyse how public policy can support and engage with men and boys effectively; explore how focusing on them within policy can promote progress towards gender equality and other social goals; and outline practical proposals for reform."

Violence against women and girls: a compendium of monitoring and evaluation indicators

Bloom S
Chapel Hill, NC : MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008.
This compendium presents a set of monitoring and evaluation indicators for program managers, organisations, and policy makers who are working to address violence against women and girls at the individual, community, district/provincial, and national levels in developing countries. Indicators were developed to measure the following areas: Magnitude and characteristics of different forms of violence, including skewed sex rations, intimate partner violence, violence from someone other than an intimate partner, female genital cutting/mutilation and child marriage; Programs by sector, including health, education, justice/security, social welfare; Under-documented forms of violence and emerging issues, including humanitarian emergencies, trafficking in persons, femicide; and Preventing violence, such as through community mobilisation and working with men and boys).

Female genital mutilation.

Khalafzai R
Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin v. 14 no. 1 Spring 2008: 1-4
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is thought to be a custom practised for the subjugation of women, but its significance for practising communities is more profound. This article summarises the extent of FGM in terms of the number of people mutilated and its geographical spread. It describes four types of FGM and their physical effects, and discusses the cultural importance of FGM within practising communities and the social pressures that need to be overcome in order to abolish it. The article also provides an Australian perspective, including the need for a culturally sensitive approach to educate and empower communities to eradicate FGM, rather than alienating them. It draws parallels with the projection of an 'ideal' body shape in Western societies, and with foot binding in China.

Circumscribing circumcision: traversing the moral and legal ground around a hidden human rights violation.

Narulla R
Australian Journal of Human Rights v. 12 no. 2 Apr 2007 89-118
This article considers why society and the law treat the circumcision of males and females differently. Analysis focuses on the circumcision of male children in Australia, with reference to the UK and the USA. The discussion encompasses the circumcision of all male children, as the issues of lack of consent and the imposition of a parent's religious and cultural norms upon the child are consistent for all minors. There is a specific focus on neonatal children who have additional aspects of vulnerability. This article deconstructs the medical myths that surround the circumcision of male children, and in doing so makes a strong argument for the need to recognise male circumcision of minors as a human rights violation.

In-depth study on all forms of violence against women

United Nations. Secretary-General, United Nations. Division for the Advancement of Women
New York : United Nations, 2006.
"The Secretary-General's in-depth study on all forms of violence against women was launched in the General Assembly on 9 October 2006 ... The study aims to: 1) highlight the persistence and unacceptability of all forms of violence against women in all parts of the world; 2) strengthen the political commitment and joint efforts of all stakeholders to prevent and eliminate violence against women; and 3) identify ways and means to ensure more sustained and effective implementation of State obligations to address all forms of violence against women, and to increase State accountability."--Publisher's website.

Semantics or substance?: towards a shared understanding of terminology referring to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children

ECPAT International. Subgroup Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children., NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Bangkok, Thailand : Subgroup Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children, NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2005.
For governments, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations working to prevent sexual violence against children and to assist those children who have been violated, it is important that we understand clearly what we are talking about when we use terminology. However, confusion and variation abound. As a step towards creating a shared language, this report highlights the different definitions in international instruments and official usage regarding: child prostitution, child sex tourism, child marriage, child pornography, trafficking in children, child sexual abuse, commercial sexual exploitation of children, who is a child?, worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, incest, adoption, and female genital mutilation.

Introduction to the Feminist Declaration of Sexual Rights.

Oriel J
Social Alternatives v. 24 no. 2 2005 46-49
According to the author, it is time for a Feminist Declaration of Sexual Rights. The rights include: the right to sexual equality; the right to sexual health; the right to sexual safety; the right to sexual liberation; the right to sexual integrity; the right to sexual dignity of the person; the right to conscientious sexual objection; the right to legal recognition of all intimate partnerships and family forums that support sexual equality; the right to sex education and information; the right to sexual justice; and the right to sexual peace.

An expanding vista: bioethics from public health, Indigenous and feminist perspectives.

McNeill P, Macklin R, Wasunna A and Komesaroff P
Medical Journal of Australia v. 183 no. 1 Jul 2005 8-9
The 2004 World Congress of Bioethics explored ethical approaches to health care from a number of perspectives. This congress report outlines the conference program, keynote addresses, and papers on bioethics in relation to the following: the broad social, cultural and political contexts affecting health care delivery; feminist perspectives; responsibility for health in the developing world; tension between population health and individual perspectives; human rights; Indigenous ethics; and the challenge of accommodating diversity.
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