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Female genital mutilation : Australian law, policy and practical challenges for doctors

Mathews, Benjamin P. (2011) Female genital mutilation : Australian law, policy and practical challenges for doctors. Medical Journal of Australia, 194(3), pp. 139-141.

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Abstract

As long ago as 1994, the Family Law Council accepted it was likely that female genital mutilation (FGM) was being conducted in Australia. In 2010, doctors and hospitals reported that it is being conducted and that they are seeing female patients who have experienced FGM. It is impossible to obtain precise data about the extent to which it is performed in Australia, but data indicates that FGM is a relevant issue for Australian medical practitioners. The medical profession has an interest in this topic because its members may be asked to conduct FGM, advise those considering it, or treat female patients with effects from the practice. This article provides a background on the practice of FGM, explains the relevant Australian law, considers whether the current legal prohibition on FGM is justified, and discusses the practical challenges facing individual practitioners and the profession. To inform further discussions about methods of responding to demand for FGM, reference is made to strategies being promoted in African nations to abolish this cultural practice.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 39937
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Female genital mutilation, Law, Australia, Medical practitioners, Practice, Reform, Women's rights and reproductive health, Africa, International Law
ISSN: 1326-5377
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PAEDIATRICS AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (111400) > Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine not elsewhere classified (111499)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Human Rights Law (180114)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Medical Journal of Australia
Deposited On: 09 Feb 2011 11:05
Last Modified: 12 May 2011 11:56

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