Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting (FGM/C)

Female Genital Cutting in Malaysia

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Medicalisation of FGM/C in Malaysia: Challenges and Recommendations from Stakeholder

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A Medical Practitioner’s Toolkit to Ending FGM/C

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Female genital cutting in Malaysia: a mixed methods study by Rashid A, Iguchi Y.

This is a study conducted among women in Kedah and Penang in predominant Malay Muslim areas. 605 women were interviewed regarding if they have had FGC, the reasons for doing so, and who had conducted the FGC. Several women and two Muftis were also interviewed in-depth. The study found 99.3% of women had been subjected to FGC with a trend towards medicalisation of FGC. The most common reason is the belief that this is a religious requirement however this has been refuted by the Muftis interviewed.

Medicalization of female genital cutting in Malaysia: A mixed methods study by Rashid A, Iguchi Y and Afiqah

This is a study conducted among Malaysian Muslim doctors; 336 doctors took part in the study with 24 in-depth interviews. The study explored why doctors were performing FGC and what FGC methods they were employing. The study has found that the most common reasons for doctors engaging in this practice is religion and culture and worryingly more doctors are engaging in harmful methods of FGC.

Earp BD In defence of genital autonomy for children

Female genital circumcision is currently illegal in many Western countries. This article explores the problems that can arise if minimal forms of female genital mutilation is tolerated and also calls for less tolerance of male circumcision. The author argues for respect for a child’s bodily integrity and that an informed choice is made by them when they are adults.                                 

Child Marriage

Why girls get married early in Sarawak, Malaysia – an exploratory qualitative study by Kohno, A., Dahlui, M., Nik Farid, N.D. et al.

22 women who were subjected to child marriage were interviewed. Among the reasons for child marriage were unplanned pregnancies and premarital sexual intercourse, family poverty, poor education, troubled relationships with parents, and believing child marriage to be their fate.

In-depth examination of issues surrounding the reasons for child marriage in Kelantan, Malaysia: a qualitative study by Kohno A, Dahlui M, Nik Farid ND, et al

Interviews were conducted with 18 women who were subjected to child marriage and a government officer, a community leader, an officer from religious department and two mothers. The reasons the women consented to child marriage were having no plans for the future, unawareness of what marriage entails, premarital sex, family poverty and community acceptance towards the act.

Indigenous People of Malaysia

Do not neglect the indigenous peoples when reporting health and nutrition issues of the socio-economically disadvantaged populations in Malaysia by Khor, G.L., Shariff, Z.M.

This is a correspondence article to highlight the health issues of indigenous people, who make up 13.8% of Malaysians and are among its most economically disadvantaged groups. There is a specific focus on the Orang Asli community.

Barriers to Health Promotion for Indigenous Communities: Lesson for Malaysia by Aniza I and Norhayati M.

Health promotion and education is important to reduce disparities between indigenous populations and the rest of the population. Did you know that Infant Mortality rate (IMR) in the Orang Asli population was approximately two and a half time higher than the national IMR? Several barriers exist towards reducing this disparity: lack of health communication and promotion materials specific for the indigenous community, prejudicial attitudes by health care workers, lack of representation from the indigenous community and lack of health data specific to indigenous communities.

Bullying Among Doctors

Tackling bullying among doctors by Brown S, Abdelrahman A, Dorman G.

Bullying can impair a doctor’s self confidence, impair the relationship between healthcare workers and impact patient care. This is a short article on how to raise the report when you are being bullied at work.

Bullying among doctors by Powell L.

Doctors can sadly be bullies too. A humiliation approach towards teaching is also outdated and provides no benefit. This short article addresses the harmful impacts of bullying among the medical profession.

Prevalence of Sexual Harassment and its Associated Factors among Registered Nurses Working in Government Hospitals in Melaka State, Malaysia. By O Suhaila and Rampal KG.

51.2% of nurses had been sexually harassed. Of these, only half reported the incident, The study focuses on the types of sexual harassment faced, the characteristics of  respondents and the relation to the likelihood of being sexually harassed (years of working, location of work etc) and their response to being sexually harassed.    

Harassment and Discrimination in Medical Training A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. By Naif Fnais 

This systematic review examined the prevalence, risk factors, and sources of harassment and discrimination, as well as time trends, through a systematic review. 59.4% trainees experienced at least one form of harassment. The most commonly reported form of harassment are verbal and academic, and the most commonly reported forms of discrimination were due to race and gender.

Relevant Non-Peer-Reviewed Articles

Female Genital Mutilation

The rise and fall of FGM in Victorian London

Did you know that in 1860s London, FGC was seen as treatment for mental illness, masturbation and disobedient wives? Learn about the notorious Isaac Baker Brown.

Malaysia’s anti-FGM advocates: Leave our bodies alone

Read these stories from four women who had been subjected to FGC themselves and why they are choosing not to let their children be subjected to it.

FGM in Asia Pacific Region

In the global mindset, FGC has always been associated with African countries. However, FGC is also prevalent in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Maldives. Read a short description about the prevalence in each country and the Asian organisations trying to end the practice including Asia Network to end FGM/C.

We won’t eradicate FGM if we keep misunderstanding its history

FGC is part of the indigenous cultural system. Predating the current notions that FGC is about controlling women’s sexuality, FGC is likely to have been part of collective human sacrifice rituals to the gods to avoid a curse from the ancestors.

This Hero Has Rescued 150 Girls From FGM

In Kenya, FGM and early marriage go hand in hand. Florence runs a school and rescue center for girls wanting to escape FGM and early marriage. Boys who are victims of child labor also seek refuge here. Florence has made great strides in increasing the school enrollment for children in her area.

Child Marriage

Child Marriages in Malaysia: Reality, Resistance and Recourse

There are detrimental effects of child marriages including the physical and emotional trauma being subjected to sexual assaults when they are not ready for it, higher risk of domestic violence, and higher school dropouts. Early education and child protection education, development of family planning services and positive support from Shariah courts could aid in reducing the prevalence of child marriage in Malaysia.

The Dark Secret of Thailand’s Child Brides

In 2018, 41-year-old Che Abdul Karim took 11-year-old Ayu across the Malaysian border to Thailand to be married. There was an outcry in Malaysia but the response in Thailand was mostly silent. Despite Thailand’s laws against early marriage, a blind eye is on the southern provinces. Read about the lucrative cross-border marriage business and the difficulties (political and cultural) in outlawing the practice.

Indigenous Populations

The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women

Forced sterilization of Native Americans was once part of America’s health services. The doctors operated under assumptions that Native Americans are inherently inferior and too many of ‘these people’ are causing problems to the nation. Forced sterilizations were still ongoing as recently as 1976.

Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the United States

Forced sterilizations were federally funded in USA in the early 20th century to control ‘undesirable populations’: Native Americans, ethnic minorities, immigrants, prisoners and the disabled. 20,000 women in California were subjected to forced sterilization in 70 years. This article explores the many ways forced sterilizations took place and may still be happening in USA.