Madame Sarah O'Neill (anthropologue) interviendra dans le cadre du cours "Genre, sciences et médecine" de la professeure Cynthia Kraus.
(Conférence en français)
The focal point of my PhD research was the overt opposition to the law criminalising female genital cutting in 1999, and development projects raising awareness about excision in human rights and reproductive health education programmes. As an ethnography of the politics around bodily practices in the light of governmental and non-governmental intervention, I was interested in how different interest groups justify their position towards excision. This presentation is guided by an analysis of how excision is embedded in constructions of personhood, sociality and ethnic identity, and how the body is imagined and located in this process. I examine how respectability and honour are maintained through competing representations of the female body as a site of morality. Some claim the female body – a reproducer of cultural identities – with reference to duties through kin obligations, others with reference to ‘human rights’ and ‘the state’. I show how conceptions of ethnic purity and pride are formulated in terms of fear about a ‘loss of culture’ and ‘foreign invasion’ which nourishes discourses of opposition to the law and non-governmental intervention. Others use ‘human rights’ associated with non- governmental organisations and the state as a vehicle to express their views against excision and those who oppose the criminalization of FGM.