How can approaches aimed at preventing Female Genital Mutilation be improved and developed using participatory methods with second-generation young people in the UK?
Background: There is considerable interest in Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at global level, and within the United Nations Development Programme Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), goal 5.3 aims to eliminate all harmful practices, including reducing the global prevalence of FGM by half by 2030. The UK has played an active role in engaging with FGM-practising communities as well as in developing legislation that aims to protect women and girls at risk, which are both said to have contributed to the reduction of the prevalence of the practice.
Aims: To examine how young people directly or indirectly affected by FGM interpret and understand the practice and to explore their views on current approaches aimed at preventing the practice in the UK.
Methods: A community-based participatory methodology was developed, involving two phases. Phase One involved recruiting eight young people aged 15-18 years living in Bristol and training them as co-researchers. This training required them to participate in ten 2½ hour workshops over five months that utilised a variety of participatory methods, including drawing, singing and role play. A training manual was developed with the co-researchers. The data collected from the training formed the initial phase of data collection and helped to develop the second stage of the research. Phase Two involved recruiting participants aged 13-15 years from Bristol, Cardiff and Milton Keynes, who participated in focus groups and one-to-one semi-structured interviews led by the co-researchers and the lead researcher.
Results: The young people involved in this study – whether as co-researchers or as Stage 2 research participants – showed a general lack of knowledge about the practice of FGM. They tended to assume it to be a historical issue that was of little or no relevance to them in a UK context. Moreover, it would seem that the meaning of FGM to young people has evolved from what was formerly considered a cultural issue to a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that is concerned with identity, body image and self-esteem. The research findings reveal that young people directly or indirectly affected by FGM identify as “bicultural”; on the one hand they attempt to construct a social position, identity and sense of belonging rooted in the dominant Western UK culture, whilst also identifying – to greater or lesser degrees – with the imported non-Western culture of their parents. This is challenging for young people who have to negotiate their status and identity where culture and religion intersect. This suggests that future strategies to tackle and prevent FGM – and to bring about cultural change – should embrace a positive holistic, inter-sectional approach, which is relevant to young people and guided by their values, beliefs and views. This implies moving beyond the preoccupation with a harm reduction approach towards one that engages with communities in positive and productive ways.
Ali, S. How can approaches aimed at preventing Female Genital Mutilation be improved and developed using participatory methods with second-generation young people in the UK?. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/3221462
|Deposit Date||Sep 23, 2019|
|Publicly Available Date||Jun 1, 2020|
|Keywords||FGM, FGC, Second generation, Identity, Approaches , Young people, United Kingdom|
How can approaches aimed at preventing female genital mutilation be improved and developed using participatory methods with second-generation young people in the UK?