Being different and vulnerable: experiences of immigrant African women who have been circumcised and sought maternity care in Sweden

J Transcult Nurs. 2006 Jan;17(1):50-7. doi: 10.1177/1043659605281981.


The purpose of the study was to explore the encounters with the health care system in Sweden of women from Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan who have been genitally cut. A qualitative study was performed through interviews with 22 women originally from Somalia, Sudan, and Eritrea who were living in Sweden. The women experienced being different and vulnerable, suffering from being abandoned and mutilated, and they felt exposed in the encounter with the Swedish health care personnel and tried to adapt to a new cultural context. The results of this study indicate a need for more individualized, culturally adjusted care and support and a need for systematic education about female genital cutting for Swedish health care workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Africa, Eastern / ethnology
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Circumcision, Female / ethnology
  • Circumcision, Female / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Circumcision, Female / psychology*
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Sweden