First criminal prosecution of female genital mutilation in Queensland goes to trial today

ABC News, 21/05/18

The first couple to be prosecuted on female genital mutilation charges in Queensland have pleaded not guilty to allegedly taking two girls aged nine and 12 to Africa to undergo the procedure.

The African man and woman—who cannot be named for legal reasons—were charged in 2015 on two counts each of removing a child from the state for female genital mutilation.

Their case is being heard today at a Beenleigh sitting of the District Court.

Psychosexual Complications of FGM for Couples: A Comparative Study in Iran

wadi.org, 29.04.2017

Most research on the health and sexuality consequences of FGM has been limited to circumcised women, and prior to this study, no research was done on the effects of FGM in couples. With attention on psychosexual problems related to FGM and on increasing numbers of women who were circumcised in childhood and who have now reached the age of marriage or of being married, the sexual function, mental health and marital satisfaction of these women and their husbands is going to become an increasingly important issue.

Our study makes several contributions to what is known about the association between the relationship of mental health, marital satisfaction, and sexual function among couples who are victims of FGM. We found that FGM is strongly associated with marital dissatisfaction, sexual dysfunction, and psychiatric symptoms for both wife and husband victims of FGM. As we expected, in the field of fear, paranoid thoughts, psychotic thoughts, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and feelings of inferiority, couples who were victims of FGM were in worse mental condition than normal couples Second, we found that marital satisfaction of couples who were victims of FGM was lower and worse condition than that of normal couples, specifically in the fields of personal issues, marital relationship, solving problems, and sexual relationship Finally, we found that sexual function of couples who were victims of FGM was lower, specifically in psychological arousal, physiologic arousal, ease of orgasm, and orgasm satisfaction, compared with normal couples.

  • Read more here
  • Access full text of journal article (PDF) here  

 

 

 

More Training Needed for Australian Doctors to Identify and Treat FGM Patients

AMA, 23 Mar 2017

Training for doctors in how to identify and treat patients who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) should be included in tertiary medical curricula, the AMA said today.

Releasing the AMA’s Position Statement on Female Genital Mutilation 2017, AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that while FGM is only practised in about 30 countries, and is illegal in Australia, Australian women are affected by the practice.

 

Female genital mutilation ban left out of new SA child protection laws

The Advertiser, February 14, 2017 8:02pm

The state’s Guardian for Children has complained that a ban on female genital mutilation has been left out of new South Australian child protection laws.

Read more here 

Female genital mutilation is hurting Australian girls and we must work together to stamp it out

The Conversation, February 9th, 2017

Female genital mutilation or cutting is largely hidden in Australia and other high-income countries. Most people don’t consider it a major issue. But our research shows it should be.

Our research found girls are presenting to paediatricians in Australia with female genital mutilation, but misconceptions about the practice are common and doctors want more information on how to manage this illegal practice.

  • Read more of article here 
  • Read Female genital mutilation and cutting: a systematic literature review of health professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and clinical practice (open access) here
  • Read Female genital mutilation in children presenting to Australian paediatricians (open access) here

 

Female genital mutilation in children presenting to Australian paediatricians

Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2016-311540

Abstract

Objective The WHO reports that female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is an ancient cultural practice prevalent in many countries. FGM/C has been reported among women resident in Australia. Our paper provides the first description of FGM/C in Australian children.

Design Cross-sectional survey conducted in April–June 2014.

Setting Paediatricians and other child health specialists recruited through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit were asked to report children aged <18 years with FGM/C seen in the last 5 years, and to provide data for demographics, FGM/C type, complications and referral for each case.

Participants Of 1311 eligible paediatricians/child health specialists, 1003 (76.5%) responded.

Results Twenty-three (2.3%) respondents had seen 59 children with FGM/C and provided detailed data for 31. Most (89.7%) were identified during refugee screening and were born in Africa. Three (10.3%) were born in Australia: two had FGM/C in Australia and one in Indonesia. All parents were born overseas, mainly Africa (98.1%). Ten children had WHO FGM/C type I, five type II, five type III and six type IV. Complications in eight children included recurrent genitourinary infections, menstrual, sexual, fertility and psychological problems. Nineteen children (82.6%) were referred to obstetrics/gynaecology: 16 (69.9%) to social work and 13 (56.5%) to child protection.

Conclusions This study confirms that FGM/C is seen in paediatric clinical practice within Australia. Paediatricians need cultural awareness, education and resources to help them identify children with FGM/C and/or at risk of FGM/C, to enable appropriate referral and counselling of children, families and communities to assist in the prevention of this practice.

Access full text (open access) here