Female Genital Mutilation in the Balance; Attitudes and Practices in Sudan

Wala M Elfatih Mahgoub and Ibrahim A Ali

Published on: 2019-03-22


Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as female genital cutting (FGC), female circumcision, or female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), is defined by the World Health Organization as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Currently there are several governmental and voluntary organizations working towards the elimination of FGM. But despite these long-term efforts, genital mutilation continues to be widespread in Sudan. Whereas a few positive changes have been observed, these relate primarily to a transition from infibulation to clitoridectomy

Methods: Extensive internet search has been done on research about FGM in internet, Google Scholar, PubMed.

Results: Regarding the attitudes toward FGM, an extensive demographic and health survey conducted among more than 5,000 women in 1989/90 showed a varying degree of acceptance towards continuing the practice. 79 percent of the women in the age group 15-49 were in favors of upholding the custom; however, The survey established that responses varied according to the respondents’ regional belonging, religious affiliation and level of education. On the other hand, it is estimated that 89 percent of North Sudanese women between the ages of 15-49 have been subjected to genital mutilation. A demographic and health survey conducted among 5860 women in Sudan between 1996 and 2000 by Save the Children in Sweden and the Sudan National Committee on Traditional Practices (SNCTP) showed that 91 percent of the rural female population and 89 percent of the urban female population had been subjected to genital mutilation.

Discussion and Conclusion: Educational programs must be tailored to specific regions, and they must be carried out urgently, with upmost respect for local culture. It is a complicated issue, but it is one that can be sorted out, and one that can be stopped. Urge the Federal and Provincial Ministries to appropriate funds and resources to provide counseling and support groups for victims of FGM, for educational programs to take place within the communities in which FGM is traditionally practiced, and to raise awareness of population so as to eradicate the practice, also Continue to pursue the issue of FGM through information sharing, education and advocacy.