Tuesday, 29 September 2015

FGM - a practice that must be banned

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

The repulsive practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is the subject of a recent review from Spanish authors Reig-Alcarez et al. (2015) and published in JAN titled: 'Health professionals and Female Genital Mutilation'.  The aim of the study was: 'To synthesize knowledge, attitudes and experiences of health professionals about Female Genital Mutilation.'

Publications between 2006–2014 were reviewed and it appears, worldwide, that while nurses and midwives are at the forefront of preventing FGM, they are also responsible in some countries for condoning it.  As the authors explain: 'WHO estimates that between 100 and 140 million girls and women have been subjected to genital removal, and that every year 3 million girls are at risk of FGM. Currently, 29 African countries continue this practice, and countries in Southeast Asia. Migration of women who come from cultures where FGM is practiced have contributed to the increase in women affected by FGM in countries where it was not previously practiced.'

Seventeen full text articles were reviewed and they are analysed in detail in the article by Reig-Alcarez et al. (2015) who state: 'This is the first synthesis of evidence on the perspectives and experiences of Health Professionals concerning FGM that raises important implications for nursing and midwifery practice.'  The authors conclude: 'Health and legal systems, professional regulation and governance, and professional training require strengthening to eradicate FGM, prevent the medicalization of FGM as an acceptable procedure, and to better manage the lifelong consequences for affected girls and women.'

You can listen to this as a podcast.


Reig-Alcaraz M, Siles-Gonz alez J, Solano-Ruiz C (2015) Health professionals and Female Genital Mutilation Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12823

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