Female circumcision in Sudan Introduction Female circumcision (the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia) is widely practised in the Sudan. It has persisted for centuries because of lack of awareness and knowledge about its adverse physical and psychosocial consequences and because of a firm belief in its supposed benefits of ensuring female chastity and securing marriage and subsequent harmonious family life. In the Sudan, female circumcision has for long remained in secrecy but it is now being brought to the surface by health and medical practitioners, sociologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who are all interested in the various physical, psychological and socio-cultural aspects of the practice.
This paper is primarily presented as a summary of contributions especially prepared for the present Workshop. Additional material to complete the presentation is drawn from other written sources dealing with issues and problems relating to female circumcision in the Sudan. The purpose of this paper is to summarize available information and findings on female circumcision as presently practiced in the Sudan and to examine and assess efforts made to abolish it. It is hoped that the paper will be useful in stimulating constructive discussion that lays the foundation for fuller understanding, action, and commitment to eradicate the practice of female circumcision.