Shifts in FGM/C practice in Sudan: Communities’ perspectives and drivers

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: Although Sudan has one of the highest prevalence of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), there have been shifts in e practice. These shifts include a reduction in the prevalence among younger age cohorts, changes in the types of FGM/C, an increase in medicalization, and changes in age of the practice. The drivers of these shifts are not well understood. Method: Qualitative data drawn from a larger study in Khartoum and Gedaref States, Family and Midwife individual interviews and focus group discussions. Analysis and categorization within a Social Norms theoretical framework. Results: Major findings confirmed shifts in the type FGM/C (presumably from infibulation to non-infibulating types) and increasing medicalization in the studied communities. These shifts were reported to be driven by social, professional and religious norms. Conclusion: Changes in FGM practice in Sudan include drivers which will not facilitate abandonment of the practice instead lead to normalization of FGM/C. Yet professionalisation of Midwives including their oath to stop FGM/C has potential to facilitate abandonment rapidly if developed with other Sudan health professionals.






Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive