Mutilations Sexuelles Féminines chez l'ethnie Diolas au Sénégal : -Une étude de terrain sur les raisons d’existence de la pratique et de l’abandon de ce phénomène

by Bagheri, Shima

Abstract (Summary)
An estimated 28% of Senegalese women are victims to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The Jola tribe in Senegal is one of the ethnics that practice this tradition. In this thesis, I have the intention to interpret and try to understand the reasons the Jolas have to justify this practice. This will be made by an abdication method with the help of the New Institutional Theory. My purpose is furthermore to understand why the practice of FGM has reduced in some Jola-zones. Furthermore, I would like to comprehend the role of the NGO Tostan in the reduction process. To fulfil my intentions, I have made a Minor Field Study of two case studies conducted in two villages in the south of Senegal.The result of this thesis is that the Jolas use FGM as the first phase of the women’s initiation cycle. A girl is not allowed to enter the second phase of her initiation cycle, which is an essential step in order to succeed in the Jolas society, if she has not already passed the first phase. I have understood that the main reason to justify the practice is that the Jolas think that FGM is an Islamic decree. This signifies that the practice of FGM has come to the Jolas with the Islamization.After conducting ordinary programs of Tostan in the villages, both case villages have made an official declaration against FGM. According to the villagers in the first village, the role of Tostan was to help them be aware and stabilise so that they could implement the declaration. It is important to stress that the process of abandoning the practice had already started before the intervention of Tostan in this village. This study shows that there already existed certain important elements in the village that had facilitated the work of Tostan.The second village confirmed the importance of Tostan and affirmed that they would not have abandoned the practice without the intervention of Tostan. On the other hand, I found indications which show that all the habitants of the village have not yet abandoned the practice.One unexpected observation that I achieved to track during my fieldwork is that the female norm is under transformation. Today, the non-circumcised women are considered more attractive than circumcised women. Another interesting observation is that the villagers claimed that it is actually more complicated to convince the younger female generations to abandon the practice of FGM, and not the elder females, which basically can be claimed to be the prejudice we carry with us from the North, when talking about different traditions which are difficult to change because of the old generations in a society.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:female genital mutilation senegal jolas initiation islamic decree the ngo tostan


Date of Publication:11/18/2008

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