Infibulation, virginity and gender based violence in Senegal

Infibulation, virginity and gender based violence in Senegal

2011-12-01 00:00:00

In Senegal, the prevalence of excision is estimated to be 20%. It is practiced by minority ethnic groups and touches 80% of Haalpulaar and Soninke women. The main objective is to analyse the relationship between infibulation, loss of virginity and gender based violence. It is a qualitative study which analyses determining factors for the practice of excision and infibulation.

In total 398 rural women and 50 excisers as well as 111 men were interviewed. 50 focus groups were undertaken.
Excision, infibulation and early marriage are practiced so that the woman stays virgin until her first marriage. The girl’s virginity is a sign of confidence, respect and tolerance towards her husband. Loss of virginity before marriage often leads to tensions between families, conflicts and sometimes even conjugal violence. If the husband expects to receive a virgin in marriage his disappointment can lead to a variety of forms of conjugal violence: Verbal, psychological and physical. Nearly all mothers justify adherence to the practice of excision as a means to preserve their daughter’s virginity until marriage.
The aim is to realise activities that prevent excision on the level of the community and improve the inferior social status of the woman.

Conference: WAS Goteberg 2009
Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2009
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