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Hilary Burrage's website comprises mostly her sociological papers and articles about patriarchy, (gendered) harmful practices and, specifically, female genital mutilation / FGM.

To select particular topics in any area please go to the Word Cloud below on your right.
(Or just scroll down here for recent posts....)

Hilary is the author of two books on her chosen themes:

15.07.14 FGM Book1 jacket jpegEradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015) is a book about pathways to eradicating FGM in the UK and around the world, and a detailed handbook-textbook which covers global and historic/political issues from a socio-economic as well as educational, legal and medical aspects.
There is an accompanying website for updates and a Twitter account [book available from the publisher; or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com (inc. e-format) and high street booksellers].

16.01.22 Female Mutilation book pic (3)Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (New Holland Publishers, 2016) comprises 70+ ‘narratives’ from survivors, family and community members, activists and professionals in two dozen countries, five continents, also with an accompanying website to bring all the contributors together, and a Twitter handle [book available from the Guardian bookshop; or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com, or high street booksellers].

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation was launched on 4 November 2015 at The Guardian offices in London (introductory talk here) and both books were presented at a reception hosted by the Norwegian Embassy for the Inter-African Committee FGM Conference at the United Nations in Geneva, on 10 May 2016.

REVIEWS of ERADICATING FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION:
>Hilary Burrage has written the most definitive book ever on FGM. An invaluable tool to help eradicate it worldwide. A personal triumph. (The Guardian)
> Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation provides an insightful and thorough discussion of the problems facing women in the UK who have encountered female genital mutilation (FGM), and is an excellent book. The book is divided into 12 chapters covering demography, perceptions and beliefs, power, clinical issues including mandatory reporting, legislation and governance, prevention and politics. The book is fully referenced throughout. … . This is a book that makes one consider the issues surrounding FGM and the challenges facing health professionals. [It] is an interesting and very readable book, which provides background and insight, and which would be suitable for anyone interested in this topic, health professionals working within sexual health, and anyone involved in teaching this topical and emotive subject. (Su Everett, BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health)
>… Outraged at ineffective child protection, Burrage provides a comprehensive, scholarly yet accessible guide – the first ethically correct textbook in the world about FGM and among the best ever – to professionals and all people of conscience. (Tobe Levin von Gleichen, Harvard and Oxford Universities)
>…. The book provides many references, a website to work with on enhancing the reader’s knowledge, and a list of organisations working on this issue… [and] provides social workers, as well as social policy makers, researchers and activists, with a wide comparative canvass, facts, and an honest discussion of the likelihood of eradication of FGM in the near future, demonstrating the author’s understanding and analysis of the considerable obstacles needed to be confronted, if we are to achieve this very necessary objective. (Shulamit Ramon, International Federation of Social Workers)
>The best book ever written about the sensitive subject of FGM : Amazon.com ***** (Sayydah Garrett, Pastoralist Child Foundation
>Essential insights on female genital mutilation … Sociologist Hilary Burrage’s intention is “to start a wider conversation about FGM and the challenges it produces” and in this book she succeeds admirably… FGM is a “deeply disturbing form of child abuse” with detrimental life-changing consequences that need to be tackled in a manner that is as vigorous as it is cognisant of its social and cultural complexity. Burrage, who adheres to a feminist understanding of FGM, proposes a no-nonsense 15-point plan that ranges from closing existing legal loopholes to mandatory reporting of cases, from tackling terminology to remedying the present haphazard child-protection provision… Engagingly written and packed with information, this book is a must-read. (Michal Boncza, Morning Star)
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REVIEWS of FEMALE MUTILATION: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation:
> This is the essential companion volume to Hilary Burrage's 'Eradicating Female Mutilation'. While the latter provides a broad and deep perspective on the practice of FGM, this book gives space for the voices of victims and practitioners in the field. The author is to be commended for bringing together such a wide range of personal narratives... to consign a vile abuse of women to the dustbin of history. You will not fail to be engaged... by these accounts, even though some are harrowing. "Female Mutilation' is a landmark contribution to the literature on FGM.: Amazon ***** (Ron Stewart and another reader)

Hilary Burrage is also the author of many other papers, policy submissions, posts, reviews and chapters on FGM, including a Chapter on ‘Female Genital Mutilation and Genital Surgeries’ in the Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health, edited by Jane M. Ussher, Joan C. Chrisler and Janette Perz (published October 2019)

Hilary is a consultant sociologist and writer (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6684-2740). This is her professional website, to share thoughts on sociological analysis, social policy and good practice, especially in relation to female genital mutilation (FGM), child abuse, gendered violence and patriarchy. Hilary lives in London.

Our Human Rights, Civil Society And Brexit

October 18, 2019

Human rights cannot be a matter of pick and mix. We either have our rights to liberty, safety, free speech, associations and faith of our choosing, and much more; or we don’t.
As I have explained before, I am very concerned about the impact that the UK leaving the European Union (EU), Brexit, would have on efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) in Europe. But ‘just’ that one concern cannot be isolated from the many other issues which Brexit presents.

Brexit was conceived and supported by people who want the EU to fail, yet any UK government that is committed to the rule of law and democracy should want the EU to thrive….  One way emboldens forces of division and nationalism; the other way strengthens the project that was founded to resist those forces.  (Rafael Behr, 16 October 2019.)

Read more…

Kameel Ahmady, British-Iranian Anthropologist, Detained In Iran – News Updates

October 6, 2019

This photograph is of my friend and colleague, the British-Iranian anthropologist Kameel Ahmady, in happier times when he kindly came to support my book launch, and attended the FGM conference in Geneva in 2016.
But as of mid-August this year (2019) Kameel has been detained, and subsequently bailed,* in Iran on unspecified potential criminal charges relating to ‘national security’. I need hardly say that we all, his colleagues and friends, hope very much that he will soon be a free man again and that this very worrying episode will shortly be positively resolved.
Kameel must soon be safely reunited with his wife, Shafagh Rahmani, and their little son; and we as scholars need him to continue his outstanding work reporting on female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and ‘white marriage’ in his own global region, the Middle-East.

[*See updates below about Kameel’s release on bail of 19 November 2019, and later.]

Please share this news about Kameel’s situation as widely as possible (via Facebook, Twitter, other social media and email etc – sharing buttons at the end of this post).

And if you are an academic or researcher or similar who would like to support our Statement of concern about Kameel Ahmady, please do so here.

In the meantime, I will use this post to update news of Kameel’s situation as we learn of it; and if you the reader also have information, perhaps you can also report it as ‘Comment’, below?  Thank you.
Read more…

Medically Unnecessary Genital Cutting And The Rights Of The Child: Moving Toward Consensus

September 26, 2019

It has always been my belief that male ‘circumcision’ (also known as Male Genital Mutilation or ‘Cutting’) is, like Female Genital Mutilation, a denial of the fundamental human right to bodily integrity – especially when the person concerned is too young, or otherwise unable freely, to give informed consent to such an act. Today a declaration to that effect, initiated by Brian Earp and edited and agreed jointly by 90 academics including myself, has been published. The text refers expressly to so-called genital ‘surgery’ or ‘modification’ in Western societies, but in large part I’d say it applies also to genital ‘cutting’ in any context.

Below is the abstract for the paper, which is published with open access in The American Journal of Bioethics 19(10):17-28:

Read more…

Routledge International Handbook Of Women’s Sexual And Reproductive Health

September 23, 2019

The Routledge International Handbook of Sexual and Reproductive Health, edited by Jane M. Ussher, Joan C. Chrisler, Janette Perz, is the result of a collaboration between the joint editors and many different authors.  I am pleased to be one of them, having written Chapter 33, on Female Genital Mutilation and Genital Surgeries.

The e-version of the book is available from today (23 September 2019) and the hardback version will be published on 11 October.

Below is a summary of the book as a whole, and also a summary of my particular chapter:

Read more…

Statement On The Detention In Iran Of Social Anthropologist Kameel Ahmady

August 21, 2019

STATEMENT ON KAMEEL AHMADY

21 August 2019

We the undersigned are academics and social researchers in issues concerning women and girls.

We note with sadness the arrest and detention in Iran of our colleague (and friend), the acclaimed British-Iranian social anthropologist and researcher Kameel Ahmady. [1]

As awards for, and recognition of, his work demonstrate, [2] Kameel’s studies have contributed significantly to our understanding of very important matters such as female genital mutilation and child marriage in the Middle East.  That dialogue must continue.

We respectfully appeal to the Iranian authorities to release Mr Ahmady from imprisonment as a matter of urgency.

Should any legal charges against him continue, we also ask the authorities in Tehran immediately to permit Kameel access to legal representation of his free choice.

Kameel Ahmady is a globally respected academic and researcher whose work has made invaluable contributions to the fields of his endeavours. 

We thank the Iranian authorities for their understanding of our concerns about the present situation, to which we hope a positive resolution acceptable to all parties will be achieved very shortly.

1. Kameel Ahmady Is Detained In Iran - News Updates
2. Kameel Ahmady - Publications, Achievements and CV

Signed:                Institution / affiliation

(see below for signatories)

If you are an academic, social researcher or similar and you would like to append your name and organisation to this Statement, please add your details in the Comment box below, or email your name and affiliation to Hilary [at] HilaryBurrage [dot] com, with the header ‘Kameel Ahmady Statement’.

Your support will then be added to the list of names below, and we will try to keep you informed of developments. Thank you.

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Read more…

Kameel Ahmady: His Book ‘In the Name of Tradition’

August 18, 2019

My friend and colleague Kameel Ahmady, the British-Iranian social anthropologist and #EndFGM / #EndChildMarriage scholar, has been detained in Tehran.  His wife, Shafagh Rahmani, says he is held in Evin Prison on unknown potential ‘national security’ charges.
This is a very serious situation and we must not double guess what lies behind Kameel’s arrest.  It may however be helpful to draw attention to Kameel’s first book in English, In the Name of Tradition, which reports on his research on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iran.

The book was published by UnCUT/VOICES, a specialist #EndFGM publishing house owned by another very good friend, Tobe Levin.  She and I edited it and were so impressed by the work that we added a jointly written Afterword.  Here it is:

Read more…

Brexit Will Harm UK Work To End Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

July 28, 2019

I rarely re-post material I’ve already published, but this is an exception. Given the shifts in the UK political landscape over the past week or so, I am pleased that London4Europe has today republished my piece on FGM and Brexit, originally posted by UK in a Changing Europe.  Taking a more political position than usual in my work on FGM, I fear the damage Brexit would inflict is already starting to have impact. Intolerance and xenophobia are features of the UK’s current socio-political turmoil, and this cannot help us in seeking to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

Here is the piece as it has now been republished:

Read more…

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