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Infibulation Female Mutilation in Islamic Northeastern Africa

by Esther Hicks

Infibulation Female Mutilation in Islamic Northeastern Africa Synopsis

Infibulation is the most extreme form of female circumcision. It plays an important role in the Islamic societies of northeastern Africa. Until now, the social significance and function of this practice has been poorly understood. This has been no less true of Western commentators who have condemned the practice than of relevant governments that have attempted to curb it. In Infibulation, Esther K. Hicks analyzes female circumcision as a cultural trait embedded in a historically traditional milieu and shows why it cannot be treated in isolation as a single issue destined for elimination. In its brief history it has been recognized as a pioneering piece of research with enormous consequences. As Hicks demonstrates, much of the popular resistance to official efforts to eradicate infibulation has actually come from women. Circumcision constitutes a rite of passage for female children. It initiates them into womanhood and makes them eligible for marriage. Often, this is the only positive status position available to women in traditional Islamic societies. Hicks points out that although female circumcision predates the introduction of Islam into the region, the religious culture has successfully codified infibulation into the structural nexus of marriage, family, and social honor at all socioeconomic levels.

Infibulation Female Mutilation in Islamic Northeastern Africa Press Reviews

-Painstaking research and documentation support the conclusions of this unusual work. . . . This work presents an interesting challenge to feminist assumptions and to Western conceptions of human rights.- --Caroline Hooper-Box, Foreign Affairs -[The] influx to the West of immigrants from the Horn of Africa and adjacent areas has activated the issue of female infibulation in Western discourse. Voices from the media, health sector and the general public have called for information, explanation and action. The present book which basically concerns the existence and distribution of female infibulation takes up this challenge.- --Aud Talle, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute -Hick's thesis is a powerful one. . . . An informative and analytical discussion about infibulation, past, present and future.- --Louise Hulton, Population Studies -A useful introduction to the topic because it contains much background information, is dispassionate in tone, and entirely avoids the sensationalism that often accompanies discussions of the topic.- --Nancy E. Gallagher, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin -Hicks reaches conclusions of considerable significance for would-be social engineers.- --Orbis Painstaking research and documentation support the conclusions of this unusual work. . . . This work presents an interesting challenge to feminist assumptions and to Western conceptions of human rights. --Caroline Hooper-Box, Foreign Affairs [The] influx to the West of immigrants from the Horn of Africa and adjacent areas has activated the issue of female infibulation in Western discourse. Voices from the media, health sector and the general public have called for information, explanation and action. The present book which basically concerns the existence and distribution of female infibulation takes up this challenge. --Aud Talle, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Hick's thesis is a powerful one. . . . An informative and analytical discussion about infibulation, past, present and future. --Louise Hulton, Population Studies A useful introduction to the topic because it contains much background information, is dispassionate in tone, and entirely avoids the sensationalism that often accompanies discussions of the topic. --Nancy E. Gallagher, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin Hicks reaches conclusions of considerable significance for would-be social engineers. --Orbis Painstaking research and documentation support the conclusions of this unusual work. . . . This work presents an interesting challenge to feminist assumptions and to Western conceptions of human rights. --Caroline Hooper-Box, Foreign Affairs [The] influx to the West of immigrants from the Horn of Africa and adjacent areas has activated the issue of female infibulation in Western discourse. Voices from the media, health sector and the general public have called for information, explanation and action. The present book which basically concerns the existence and distribution of female infibulation takes up this challenge. --Aud Talle, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Hick's thesis is a powerful one. . . . An informative and analytical discussion about infibulation, past, present and future. --Louise Hulton, Population Studies A useful introduction to the topic because it contains much background information, is dispassionate in tone, and entirely avoids the sensationalism that often accompanies discussions of the topic. --Nancy E. Gallagher, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin Hicks reaches conclusions of considerable significance for would-be social engineers. --Orbis Hicks reaches conclusions of considerable significance for would-be social engineers. --Orbis [Infibulation] is a useful introduction to the topic because it contains much background information, is dispassionate in tone, and entirely avoids the sensationalism that often accompanies discussions of the topic. --Nancy E. Gallagher, MESA Bulletin This work presents an interesting challenge to feminist assumptions and to Western conceptions of human rights. --Caroline Hooper-Box, Foreign Affairs

Book Information

ISBN: 9781560008415
Publication date: 31st January 1996
Author: Esther Hicks
Publisher: Transaction Publishers an imprint of Taylor & Francis Inc
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 331 pages
Categories: Anthropology, Sociology: customs & traditions,

About Esther Hicks

Esther K. Hicks was senior researcher with the faculty of management and organization at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

More About Esther Hicks

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