Popular notions of FGC in Sweden: The case of Ali Elmi

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Popular notions of FGC in Sweden: The case of Ali Elmi

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Popular notions of FGC in Sweden: The case of Ali Elmi
Author(s) Johnsdotter, Sara
Date 2008
English abstract
In 2006–2007, the Swedish citizen Ali Elmi Hayow was sentenced to prison for the female genital mutilation of his daughter. In this paper I argue that the popular understanding of FGC, seeing African men as the true perpetrators, rendered it impossible for this man to get a fair trial. The facts presented during court proceedings were interpreted within a radical feminist framework, and the political will to sentence a male for FGC made it possible to overlook this citizen’s legal rights. The case is discussed in its specific social context and in relation to the wider social and political context of FGC in Sweden. I try to show that this case cannot be fully understood without the knowledge of Somali culture and that the court members, rather than aiming for a well-grounded understanding of the case, leaned toward popular and stereotyped notions of FGC as well as of Somali men and women. Ethnocentric ideas of family organisation also affected the outcome of the court proceedings. With more realistic preconceptions of the Somali practice of female circumcision among Somalis, Ali Elmi would have walked free.
Host/Issue Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration;2
Volume 3
ISSN 1796-6582
Pages 74-82
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) female circumcision
FGM
law
legislation
Somali
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Social anthropology/ethnography
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Sociology::Sociology of Law
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/6985 (link to this page)

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