Lived experiences and opinions of women of sub-Saharan origin on female genital mutilation: A phenomenological study
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AuthorMartínez Linares, José Manuel; López-Entambasaguas, Olga María; Fernández-Medina, Isabel María; Berthe-Kone, Ousmane; Fernández-Sola, Cayetano; Jiménez-Lasserrotte, María del Mar; Hernández-Padilla, Jose Manuel; Canet-Vélez, Olga
female circumcisionFemale genital cuttingfemale genital mutilationlived experiencesqualitative study
SponsorshipThis study was carried out within the framework of the research project 'Socio- healthcare for irregular migrants arriving by sea: a gender, trafficking and vulnerabiligy approach (FEDER-UAL2020- CTS- D2031) funded by Junta de Andalucía and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Funding for open access charge: Universidad de Jaén / CBUA. Grant Numbers: FEDER-UAL2020-CTS- D2031
Aims and objectives: This study aimed to describe and understand the lived experi-ences and opinions of sub-Saharan women living in Spain in relation to female genital mutilation.Background: Female genital mutilation is a bloody procedure with serious conse-quences for the health of women and girls. Understanding mutilated women's lived experiences plays a crucial role in the management of health consequences and could help healthcare professionals to provide assistance to these women.Design: A descriptive phenomenological study was carried out. The COREQ checklist was followed as guidance to write the manuscript.Methods: A total of 12 in-depth interviews were conducted. Interviews were re-corded, transcribed and analysed using ATLAS.ti 9.0.Results: Two themes with four subthemes were identified from the data analysis: 1) ‘The traumatic experience of female circumcision’ with the subthemes ‘Female muti-lation is a physical and psychological torture procedure’ and ‘recognising and coping with negative emotions’; 2) ‘The fight for the eradication of female genital mutilation’ which contains the subthemes ‘the need for a real sociocultural change at the origin’ and ‘“I want to be the last”: Personal development leads to sociocultural change’.Conclusions: Female genital mutilation was experienced by women as a very aggres-sive and traumatic event. It causes considerable negative emotions that last over time. Although there is a tendency to reject the practice, in women's countries of origin, there is social pressure for girls to be mutilated.