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Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia.
Rome, Italy, AIDOS, 1989. VIII, 148,  p.This book contains the proceedings of the 1988 International Seminar on Female Circumcision in Somalia. The first part relays the introductory addresses presented by the Assistant Secretary General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Somali Minister of Health, the Italian Ambassador to Somalia, the World Health Organization's resident representative in Somalia, and the President of the Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Part 2 offers five reports on efforts towards international cooperation to eliminate female genital mutilation undertaken by North/South women's organizations, the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, the Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development, and the World Health Organization. Part 3 includes three reports on religious and legal aspects of female genital mutilation, and part 4 presents reports of eradication efforts ongoing in Egypt, Nigeria, the Gambia, and Sudan. The fifth part of the volume is devoted to six reports on aspects of the practice of female genital mutilation in Somalia as well as eradication efforts that involve an information campaign and training. Part 6 reprints the reports of the working groups on health, the law, training and information, and religion, and the final part covers the final resolutions and closing addresses by a UN Children's Fund representative, a representative of the UN Commission for Human Rights, and the Assistant Secretary General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. The Inter-African Committee's Plan of Action for the Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, approved by the seminar, is contained in the first appendix, and a list of seminar participants is attached in the second.
[Unpublished] 1986. 6 p. (WHO/CDD/CMT/86.1)This article presents an overview of current therapeutic practice as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Diarrheal Disease Control Program. The recommendations apply solely to acute diarrheal disease in infants and children. Therapy for such cases is primarily concerned with the prevention or correction of dehydration, the maintenance of nutrition, and the treatment of dysentery. The various approaches to treatment considered are: 1) oral rehydration, which is highly effective for combating dehydration and its serious consequences, but does not diminish the amount or duration of diarrhea; 2) antimotility drugs, none of which are recommended for use in infants and children because the benefits are modest and they may cause serious side effects, such as nausea and vomiting; 3) antisecretory drugs, only a few of which have been properly studied in clinical trials, virtually all of which have important side effects, a low therapeutic index, and/or only modest efficacy. Consequently, none can at present be recommended for the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea in infants and children. 4) aciduric bacteria, on which conclusive evidence is still lacking; 5) adsorbents: kaolin and charcoal have been proposed as antidiarrheal agents in view of their ability to bind and inactivate bacterial toxins, but the results of clinical studies have been disappointing. 6) improved Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS): this may turn out to be the most effective and safest antidiarrheal drug. 7) antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs for a few infectious diarrheas (e.g., cholera). Antibiotics can significantly diminish the severity and duration of diarrhea and shorten the duration of excretion of the pathogen. No antibiotic or chemotherapeutic agent has proven value fort the routine treatment of acute diarrhea; their use is inappropriate and possibly dangerous. It is concluded that oral that oral rehydration is the only cost-effective method of treating diarrhea among infants and children.The Inter-African Committee's (IAC) work against harmful traditional practices is mainly directed against female circumcision. Progress towards this aim is achieved mostly through the efforts of th non governmental organizations (NGO) Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children and the IAC. In 1984 the NGO Working Group organized a seminar in Dakar on such harmful traditional practices in Africa. The IAC was created to follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the Dakar seminar. The IAC has endeavored to strengthen local activities by creating national committees in Benin, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Togo. IAC activities in each country are briefly described In addition, the IAC has created an anatomical model, flannelgraphs, and slides to provide adequate educational material for the training of medical staff in teaching hospitals and to make village women aware of the harmful effects of female circumcision. The IAC held 2 African workshops at the Nairobi UN Decade for Women Conference. The African participants recognized the need for international solidarity to fight female circumcision and showed a far more definite and positive difference in their attitude towards the harmful practice than was demonstrated at the Copenhagen Conference/ Forum of 1980. At the United Nations level, female circumcision is receiving serious consideration. A special Working Group has been set up to examine the phenomenon. Finally, this article includes a statement by a sheikh from the Al Azhar University in Cairo about Islam's attitude to female circumcision.
The recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development: the possibility of the empowerment of women in Egypt.
CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. 1996; 29(1):191-223.This paper opens by pointing out that Muslim support of the recommendations contained in the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was gained only because ICPD participants agreed that individual country compliance would be limited by national constitutional statutes and religious doctrine. If Egypt interprets the ICPD's "full respect for ... religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds" to mean "limited by" these factors, Egyptian women will remain unable to control their fertility. After this introduction, the first section of the paper summarizes the ICPD recommendations. Part 2 describes Islamic notions of women's role in society, and the third part shows how these ideas are mirrored in Egyptian society through an analysis of the importance of family and motherhood, Egyptian sexual standards, the veiling of women, and female genital mutilation. Part 4 considers the Islamic influence on Egyptian law, and the fifth part outlines past Egyptian efforts to achieve equality between the sexes. The paper ends by presenting the reforms that Egypt will have to institute to implement the ICPD recommendations. These include eliminating laws that perpetuate traditional gender roles and sexual standards. Egypt will also have to promote education as a key to empowering women and implementing the ICPD recommendations. It is also noted that women's organizations must play a key role in the reform process and that the process must take Islamic law into account.
INTELIHEALTH NEWS (ON-LINE). 1997 Apr 10; 2 p.In April 1997, the UN announced that the UN Children's Fund, the World Health Organization, and the UN Population Fund have mounted a joint effort to create the crucial momentum to achieve elimination of female genital mutilation. Each year, 2 million girls undergo female genital mutilation, which involves partial or total excision of the external female genitalia usually by traditional practitioners wielding crude instruments. Female genital is a deeply-rooted traditional practice, which many communities believe is essential to initiate girls into womanhood. Other misconceptions include the notion that Islam requires such mutilation and that the practice increases fertility and the healthiness of offspring. The effects of female genital mutilation include pain, infection, urine retention, hemorrhage, death, sexual dysfunction, and psychological trauma.
The political and legal struggle over FGM in Egypt before and after the International Conference on Population and Development.
In: Intersections between health and human rights: the case of female genital mutilation, by Elizabeth Kirberger, Kate Randolph, Nahid Toubia. New York, New York, Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women, 1995. 10-7.During a workshop on eradication of female genital mutilation, a speaker noted that female genital mutilation has become a highly political issue in Egypt since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Before the ICPD, female genital mutilation had no place in the Islamic agenda although the practice had received the attention of several nongovernmental organizations. Attitudes towards female genital mutilation are tied to larger views about women's status and to political attempts to control women and their sexuality. Airing of the CNN film depicting the mutilation of an Egyptian girl forced the government to denounce the practice and to promise the international community that it would work to eradicate it. After the ICPD, the Islamic organization Al-Azhar launched a campaign against the eradication of female genital mutilation in an attempt to squash any fledgling move toward women's liberation and to embarrass the government. The campaign depicted female genital mutilation as a part of Egypt's cultural identity which must be preserved to resist Western oppression and domination. Female genital mutilation was a safe issue for the Islamic groups to forward since they knew the government would be unsuccessful in using legislation to eradicate it. The Minister of Health responded to this pressure by proclaiming that female genital mutilation must be performed by physicians. The Grand Mufti, the official interpreter of Islamic law, simply referred the matter to physicians. Those in Egypt who are fighting to change women's status and attitudes can not afford further sensationalization of this issue. Rather than using legislation in a futile attempt to change attitudes, court cases have been entered as a tool to raise awareness about the way female genital mutilation has been used as a political tool. These court cases carry the risk of failure but action has been enjoined against the Minister of Health for violating the code of medical ethics and a 1959 ministerial degree forbidding the practice of female genital mutilation in public hospitals. The court case against Al-Azhar charges that the organization violated its mandate by issuing a fatwa claiming that female genital mutilation is part of Islam. Only the Mufti has the authority to issue a fatwa.