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Male perspectives on FGM among communities of African heritage in Italy

Lucrezia Catania (Regional Referral Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of FGM, Health Promotion of Immigrant Woman, Department of Science for Woman and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Rosaria Mastrullo (Regional Referral Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of FGM, Health Promotion of Immigrant Woman, Department of Science for Woman and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Angela Caselli (Regional Referral Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of FGM, Health Promotion of Immigrant Woman, Department of Science for Woman and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Rosa Cecere (Regional Referral Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of FGM, Health Promotion of Immigrant Woman, Department of Science for Woman and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Omar Abdulcadir (Regional Referral Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of FGM, Health Promotion of Immigrant Woman, Department of Science for Woman and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Jasmine Abdulcadir (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland and Faculty of Medicine. University of Geneva, Genève, Switzerland)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 14 March 2016

368

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs regarding female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) of six groups of immigrant men from countries where FGM/C is practiced and to identify their role in the decision-making process of circumcising their daughters.

Design/methodology/approach

The study took the form of qualitative action research with seven focus groups of 50 men coming from Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Benin, Egypt and Nigeria, living in Florence, Italy.

Findings

Different conceptions, cultures and attitudes about FGM/C exist among men coming from different countries, but also within the same community. The participants expressed positions both in favor and against the maintenance of the practice. There were opposite beliefs about the religious motivations invoked.

Research limitations/implications

The study is qualitative and the non-probability sample and the small number of participants are important limitations.

Practical implications

The study improves current knowledge on men’s role and attitude in FGM/C and gives important information for the prevention of future activities that could include both men and women of the community.

Social implications

The need to involve men in preventive actions against FGM/C has been underlined by the World Health Organization. The involvement of men and leaders of the communities could facilitate cultural changes toward the abandoning of these practices. FGM/C is often considered as a phenomenon concerning only women, who are frequently left alone to face the decision of whether to abandon the ritual.

Originality/value

The great advantage of conducting such a study in a country of migration is the presence of different communities, with different cultural views, in the same area.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Professor Ellen Gruenbaum and Dr Michael Celia for useful comments on this paper.

Citation

Catania, L., Mastrullo, R., Caselli, A., Cecere, R., Abdulcadir, O. and Abdulcadir, J. (2016), "Male perspectives on FGM among communities of African heritage in Italy", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 41-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-07-2015-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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