Female genital mutilation: whose problem, whose solution?
In this week's BMJ, Elmusharaf and colleagues present a study of the agreement between self reports of female genital mutilation and the findings of clinical examination in a cohort of girls and another of women. They report that girls and women were inaccurate in describing what had been done to them, and that the actual mutilations did not readily fit into the World Health Organization's classification system. These findings have implications for research and, more broadly, for tackling the problem of female genital mutilation worldwide. They suggest that we need to re-examine our current conceptualisation of female genital mutilation with a view to defining a valid and reliable definition and classification system. (excerpt)