Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

Practice and Attitudes of Sudanese Midwives Towards: Re-Infibulation (Re-Circumcision)

Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

Practice and Attitudes of Sudanese Midwives Towards: Re-Infibulation (Re-Circumcision)

Article excerpt


The main focus of this study was to investigate the practice and attitudes of Sudanese Midwives towards re-circumcision (re-infibulation) practice. The opinion of" midwives on why Sudanese women re-circumcise themselves and the magnitude of re-circumcision practice for whatever reasons were investigated.

The qualitative data was collected using semi-structured outlines for personal interviews to obtain information about the practice of recircumcision. The target group was 10 midwives from Khartoum State. The respondents were purposively selected.

The main findings were that re-circumcision is practiced by married and unmarried women.

Married women practice re-circumcision after delivery and sometimes cosmetically twice or three times a year. Married women practice recircumcision to tighten the vaginal orifice for the pleasure of the husband or else, as claimed, to beautify their external genitalia. Unmarried women practice re-circumcision after doing premarital sex as camouflage for virginity before getting married.

Married women of the age group 20-45 years old practice re-circumcision. On the other hand, unmarried women in the age group 16-35 practice recircumcision.

The magnitude of re-circumcision among married women is 40-80% and among unmarried women is 10-15%. Married women pay 20-50 SDG to be re-circumcised, while unmarried women pay 100-250 SDG.



Of all problems traceable to traditional beliefs, and which adversely affect the health and lives of girls and women in Africa today, those arising from FGM are by far the most serious.

Original, professional and pioneer reporting on health hazards (including fatality) of FGM practice in Sudan has early been documented by Bredie, et al (1945); Shandal (1967); El Dareer (1983); and Rushwan et al (1983) and Rushwan (1994). More recent inputs on the health consequences and gynecological complications have been recorded by El Fadil (2000). The negative psychological impacts were reported by Bashar (1982). Moreover, the negative psychosexual impact of FGM on women has been investigated by Abdel Magied and Musa (2002).

Therefore, within the preceding context, it would seem logical to consider FGM as a synonym of endemic fatal disease and type of slavery specific to girls and women whenever it is prevalent and/or practiced (Abdel Magied, 1998).

Nonetheless, in the Sudan the practice has been perpetuating for many generations. As such, the practice has been institutionalized as habit or a custom that became an integral part of the social system. However, of the 28 identified African Countries (Rahman and Toubia, 2000) known to practice FGM, Sudan is one of the cases that are worthy of special attention.

This is because of the extra prevalence of the unique practice of cosmetic "re-infibulation" or "re-circumcision" by Sudanese women. This is practiced after delivery, but also cosmetically for up to three times a year to have a tighter vagina. The practice is however, claimed mainly for the pleasure of the male spouse (Abdel Magied et al, 2000).


Although re-infibulation or re-circumcision is widely practiced in Sudan, yet information about the attitudes and the practice of midwives and traditional birth attendants (TBAs) has not been reported.

General objective:

To investigate the practice and attitudes of Sudanese midwives and (TBAs) towards re-infibulation (re-circumcision) practice.

Specific objectives:

* Assessment of attitudes of midwives and TBAs towards recircumcision (reinfibulation) practice.

Investigate the opinion of midwives and TBAs on why do Sudanese women get re-circumcised (re-infibulated).

Investigate the magnitude of re-circumcision practice for what so ever reasons.


Research design: Cross sectional descriptive study

Study area: The study was carried out in Khartoum State. …

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