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“Don’t judge me”: narratives of living with FGM

Natasha Recchia (School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Julie McGarry (School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 13 March 2017




The purpose of this paper is to facilitate a participant led arts-based workshop for survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) in order to explore their experiences and impact of FGM on health and wellbeing, and to use the artefacts to inform development of an e-learning resource.


The study utilised a creative narrative approach which included the sharing of personal stories, the creation of pottery models and the sharing of artefacts. A narrative approach was chosen as the methodology for the study as narratives are now well established within qualitative research as a meaningful way in which the voices of participants take precedence over those of the researcher. Six women who are living with FGM agreed to take part.


The composition of the workshop essentially encompassed two main strands: the creation of a persona and sharing artefacts. These are described in detail with supplementary images included wherever appropriate. The authors have not attempted to present the findings of the workshop from the perspective of the researcher but have rather enabled the findings to speak for themselves.

Research limitations/implications

There is a paucity of studies which have explored women’s experiences of living with FGM and the impact on health and well-being. The findings suggest that there is further scope for research and practice development which examines the impact of education on professional’s approaches to FGM.


This study and the wider focus towards the impact of FGM beyond the physical or procedural aspects of FGM offer a contribution to the evolving evidence base in this field.



Recchia, N. and McGarry, J. (2017), "“Don’t judge me”: narratives of living with FGM", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-13.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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