Victimization & Stigmatization of Newcomers: Approaches in Handling Female Genital Mutilation in Canada

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Sally OGOE, University of Manitoba, Canada
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an important human rights and health issue in both Canada and Africa. The Canadian government has made efforts towards eradicating this practice by making it a criminal offense, a solution popularly used in Africa as well. Despite the efforts made by governments, law enforcement, along with international human rights organizations, female genital mutilation persists among African immigrants living in Canada and is still practiced by some in Africa. Canada has become the home of refugees and immigrants from African countries (Gutbi 1995). According to the 2011 Census, there were over 766,000 people of various African origins in Canada, mainly in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta (Statistics Canada 2013). Even though a large majority of female genital mutilation is of African origin, it has become an issue of concern in Canada according to Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) (Kielburger & Kielburger 2013, FORWARD 2002-2014). Some Africans who have undergone the practice or who come from communities where it is accepted, still subject their daughters to the procedure despite their intention to live in Canada long term. This poster presentation aims to address the question; Has the Canadian attitude towards female genital mutilation been effective in addressing the challenges and experiences of African immigrants and their families in Canada?