Accepted paper:

Health, freedom and power: confronting narratives on FGM/C

Authors:

Jordi Tomàs (WASSU - UAB Foundation/CEI-IUL/GESA - UB)
Adriana Kaplan (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Marie-Alix Le Charles (Wassu-UAB Foundation)

Paper short abstract:

The main objective of this paper is to present different narratives of the practice of excision (or FGM/C), in the Basse-Casamance, in Southern Senegal, confronting local visions and practices to NGOs and Senegalese Government politics.

Paper long abstract:

The main objective of this paper is to present different narratives of the practice of excision (or FGM/C), in the Basse-Casamance, in Southern Senegal. The diversity of the region and the cultural changes that have taken place in recent years, following the introduction in 1999 of a law banning the practice, make this discourse analysis essential to enable a holistic understanding of the current situation.  The study thus seeks to understand why excision is still being performed in the area today, as well as to assess the impact of the law and the work of the government and NGOs in the area in the last two decades. This research considers the diversity of views and practices, as well as highlighting the multiple local tensions that arise from the intersectionality of visions and social models. On one hand, there are those who believe that excision is a fundamental part of a woman's life while on the other hand, others reject radically the practice appealing to Human Rights and particulary to Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. Both narratives consider that their values and practices give to women more health, more freedom and more power. In the midst of these two positions, among the population there is a wide range of opinions, debates and strategies. In this regard, the study brings together the voices of women, men and young people from different ethnic and religious origins, situating the practice of excision in a large plurality of social, political and religious contexts.

panel Anth23
Sexual and reproductive rights: conflicting narratives and the future of gender in Africa