Genitally mutilated women in the Wellington Region : a study of their health needs : a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Nursing, Massey University

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The purpose of this study was to explore the health care needs of a group of Somali women in the Wellington region. Using a qualitative research method, two open-ended questions were put to Somali women in a focus group setting. The health care needs of the Somali women in relation to female genital mutilation were explored. The data generated in the group discussions were recorded. Thematic content analysis was applied to the data. Categories and major themes were extracted from the data, which constituted the findings of this study. The findings of the study demonstrated that the identity of Somali women is defined by female genital mutilation (fgm). The findings also included physical health and childbirth perspectives that emerged and shaped the discussion. The findings are supported by some of the literature on female genital mutilation except that the Somali women in this study consider the consequences of fgm as a very normal part of their life and that of women. The Somali women do not view their health consequences as 'problems'. The findings also demonstrated a need for bridging the gap between the understanding of the cultural practice of female genital mutilation and the related health effects and the ways in which the health professionals can meet the health care needs of Somali women living in Wellington.
Female circumcision, Women refugees, Somalis, Somali women, Refugee health, Refugees, New Zealand, Female genital mutilation