AbstractToday, female genital cutting (fgc) is more often performed by health professionals. In this dissertation we aim to answer the question of why mothers opt to medicalise their daughters’ cut, and how this decision relates to their social position within their community. We focus on Egypt and Kenya.The first important conclusion of our research is that increasing medicalisation and decreasing fgc prevalence can coexist. Moreover, we identify three major drivers behind mothers’ choice to medicalise their daughters’ cut. Firstly, mothers argue that they opt for a medicalised cut to reduce the health risks related to the cut. They seek a less harmful but still culturally acceptable alternative. Secondly, the medicalisation of fgc is socially stratified. Thirdly, medicalisation may act as a social norm in itself.In conclusion, we state that the debate about medicalisation should be more nuanced and that the general discourse on medicalisation should be challenged and empirically grounded.
Afrika Focus – Brill
Published: Jun 9, 2021