Lexicon of FGM Terms

Here we share our understanding and knowledge of other terms which refer to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

All these terms are used in different contexts, have different histories, and carry different connotations and implications for and within the communities where they are employed.  You can see some of these terms further down this page.

We invite others who have signed up to our Statement to use the Comments box also below (footer) to submit further terms and / or references for inclusion in the Lexicon, or to extend the insights into terms already listed.  Thank you.

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Improving the health care of women and girls affected by female genital mutilation/cutting: A service coordination guide, Family Planning Victoria (Australia), (September 2012) offers a list of terms for FGM, pp 25-26

In Sudan the arabic terms “Khitan” or “Khifad” to cut or to reduce or “Tahora” purification are used to refer to FGM. These terms are problematic  as (1) they are religious terms which serves reinforce in the link of  FGM with Islam; and (2) they also refer to male circumcision which is an Islamic requirement.

In Ethiopia an uncircumcised women is called kintram (the one with clitoris) and this term is used in a derogatory way. It is a disgrace for a woman to be called kintram.
AfricanWomen.org: FGM Myths

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