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Sunna Gudnin

An Alternative Ritual to Infibulation in Merka Somalia
  • Pia Grassivaro Gallo
  • Lydia Rabuffetti
  • Franco Viviani
Chapter

Abstract

This paper examines a ceremonial alternative to infibulation. The ceremony, called sunna gudnin, was conceived and carried out in the Merka district of Somalia. Its goal is to substitute infibulation that includes sunna with sunna gudnin, which has been systematically carried out every six months both in town and in the bush. About 150,000 residents living in thirty villages and in the capital (Merka) are involved, and, today, around 1,300 girls have been affected. The three main aspects of sunna gudnin are: the persuasion, the ceremony, and the verification. These are carried out by two teams of Somalis. The first is a religious team that unequivocally persuades the mothers that infibulation does not belong to the Koran. This includes presentation of a Somali translation of the pertinent parts of the Koran, allowing women direct access to the sacred text. The second is a health team that carries out the sunna on the girls and then teaches their grandmothers to verify the acceptance of this innovation, with the aim of spreading knowledge of it to other villages. Sunna gudnin is proposed and accepted without any form of violence, sanction, or coercion. Only psychological and social tools are used (persuasion and acceptance by means of talks).

Keywords

Young Girl Female Genital Mutilation Health Team Female Circumcision Banana Tree 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pia Grassivaro Gallo
    • 1
  • Lydia Rabuffetti
    • 1
  • Franco Viviani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PaduaItaly

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