Female circumcision: toward an inclusive practice of care

Health Care Women Int. 2010 Aug;31(8):686-99. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2010.490313.


Female circumcision is a cultural tradition that includes cutting of female genitals without medical necessity. Over 130 million girls and women have been circumcised globally. This article reports on partial findings from a qualitative study that examined the lives of Somali Muslim women who were circumcised. A reoccurring theme of resentment toward North American health care practitioners who condemn the women for having experienced the practice of circumcision in their birth country was found. Discussion will include the physical and social stigma, the complex legal aspects, and ways to deal with female circumcision in a culturally competent manner.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Circumcision, Female / ethnology*
  • Circumcision, Female / psychology
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Islam
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice
  • Somalia
  • Young Adult