Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – an Overview for Family Physicians from a Medical Anthropological Perspective

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2021.0010-0017

german translation / full article

Elena Jirovsy-Platter

Keywords: Europe cutting family medicine female genital mutilation (FGM)

BackgroundFemale genital mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation with severe health consequences. Due to migration, around 500.000 women and girls with FGM live in Europe.Search MethodsPragmatic search (no language limit) for the terms “female genital AND mutilation OR cutting OR circumcision NOT male circumcision AND “last 10 years“[PDat] AND health care) AND “last 10 years“[PDat] AND family practice” in PubMed and Web of Science – Social Science Citation Index. Main MessagesMany families continue the practice, as they believe that FGM has both social and reproductive advantages and that they therefore submit girls to something desirable. In Germany and Austria FGM is prohibited by law. Health care professionals are obliged to report cases of FGM to the authorities and are important actors in the prevention of FGM for girls in Europe.ConclusionsA gender and culture sensitive health care, as well as prevention measures by health care professionals are important. Appropriate knowledge about health care for women and girls with FGM enables the provision of equal and equitable care and eases the fate of women and girls with FGM. Furthermore, it supports the prevention of FGM in endangered girls.Keywordsfemale genital mutilation (FGM); cutting; Europe; family medicine

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