Feasibility study to establish a national Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) data collection process

Research status


Overview of Study

Female genital mutilation, also referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting (FGM/C), refers to any procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is estimated that at least 125 million women and girls have undergone FGM/C in more than 30 countries where this practise is prevalent.

With increasing numbers of girls and women immigrating to Australia from countries that practice FGM/C, health services and service providers may require additional information and support to address the medical and psychological needs of women who have experienced or are at risk of FGM/C.

In 2013, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing commissioned Family Planning NSW to conduct two FGM/C-related projects, namely scoping and developing a national Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Continuing Professional Development Program for health professionals, and a feasibility study for a national FGM/C data collection process.

A national survey was conducted to investigate the experiences of clinicians and other health service providers in providing services for women affected by FGM/C and their experiences with, and preferences for, training. Service providers were also invited to participate in semi-structured interviews, to explore their experiences with FGM/C and their views regarding training needs in this area.

Findings suggest there is a need for health professionals to have access to continuing professional development regarding FGM/C to be more effective in communicating and supporting women affected by it in Australia.

(This research project has been approved by the Family Planning NSW Ethics Committee; approval number R2013-08)

Contact Details

If you would like more information, please contact:

Jane Estoesta: researchcentre@fpnsw.org.au  

Published articles

Feasibility Study for a National Female Genital Mutilation Data Collection Final Report

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