Western FGM proponents

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A notorious group of academics is continuing to campaign for female genital mutilation (FGM). Dr. Fuambai Ahmadu, a post doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, born in America from a Sierra Leonean family, is one of them. In 1991 she came to Sierra Leone to get her own genitals cut as an adult. Ahmadu calls sexual dysfunction in mutilated women a myth and blames “Western feminists” not to respect “our unique and powerful cultural heritage”.

In a new article the group claims: “Western media coverage of female genital modifications in Africa has been hyperbolic and one-sided”. They regard all scientific studies on serious health consequences as biased and are convinced that affected women have “rich sex lives”. According to their view FGM has important benefits like the “enhancement of gender identity”.

Another crucial figure in this group is Richard Shweder, a renowned American cultural anthropologist. In the debate on FGM, Shweder detects the presence of “imperial tones”. To keep their views consistent these people have to ignore the thousands of local anti-FGM activists.

Others, like Lucrezia Catania, Bettina Shell-Duncan and Birgitta Essen are known to share most of these views. All these people are still well-integrated in the scientific communities they work in.

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