The struggle of Malian women for the respect of their physical integrity

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez, Hope College

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Women’s rights are inseparable from their physical integrity. Yet, women and their bodies are abused and exploited, especially in Mali. The United Nations Fund reports that 94% of the female population aged 15 to 49 years have been subjected to female genital cutting in this country. This practice finds its root in traditional, cultural, and religious practices but because of this, women suffer and see their future as mothers compromised. In addition, because of obstetrical and urological complications, death is also too often a reality. In this presentation, we will attempt to understand why in the twentieth century Malian women continue to be subjected to female circumcision while in other countries, like France, this practice is henceforth recognized as a criminal act. We will also try to evaluate the situation on the actions of education and medical care engaged in Mali by various non-governmental organizations in order that Malian women can speak out and put a stop to the practice of female genital mutilation.

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