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Home » Advancing Knowledge of Psycho-Sexual Effects of FGM/C: Assessing the Evidence

Advancing Knowledge of Psycho-Sexual Effects of FGM/C: Assessing the Evidence


    Knowledge of Psycho-Sexual Effects of FGM/C:

    Assessing the Evidence


    10-12, 2004

    Le Metropole, Alexandria



    Abdel Tawab, is the Country Director

    of Frontiers in Reproductive Health Program in Egypt. The program

    conducts operations research that helps in solving service delivery

    problems. Dr. Abdel Tawab is a public health physician with postgraduate

    training in behavioral sciences and health education.

    Marie B. Assaad,


    A. Abdel Baky is a fourth year medical student in Alexandria

    University’s Faculty of Medicine. He is also a board member of ASSA,

    Alexandria Students’ Scientific Association and local officer of

    Reproductive Health/AIDS (LORA) in the International Federation

    of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA). His field of work includes

    conference and workshop organizing (social & scientific), fundraising,

    project coordinating, as well as peer education. Mr. Abdel Baky

    has previously worked with UNICEF, Caritas-Egypt , ISCGT- International

    Society of Cancer and Gene Therapy , ATA -Alexandria Thoracic Association

    , and the Egyptian Society of Bronchology.


    Mohamed A. Bedri, is assistant

    professor at the School of Family Sciences, Ahfad University for

    Women, executive board member of Babiker Badri Scientific Association

    for Women Studies and the President of the Sudanese Population Network.

    Besides being a lecturer, Dr. Bedri is also a researcher, program

    manager and trainer in the field of reproductive health in general

    and women’s health issues in particular. Dr. Bedri has written and

    developed several training and educational materials in these fields.

    She has also carried out several researchers at national and international

    levels in the area of women’s health.


    Bur, is an African graduate fellow

    at the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the American

    University in Cairo. She

    is also the coordinator of the INTACT Network at Population Council,

    West Asia and North Africa Regional Office in Cairo. Her research

    interests include issues of FGC, gender and sexuality in literature

    and development.

    Lucrezia Catania, heads the research division of the

    Center for Preventing and Curing FGM and its Complications at the

    Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the University of Florence.

    A graduate of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Florence,

    Dr. Catania specialized in gynaecology and obstetrics at the University

    of Florence, and clinical sexology at the University of Pisa and

    Florence, 2003. She is also the author and speaker of numerous researches

    on FGM/C, such as I National Congress of the Italian Federation

    of Scientific Sexology (2002), V National Congress of the Italian

    Society of Health Psychology (2002), XVI World Congress of Sexology

    (2003), XVII European Conference of Health Psychology (2003), III

    International Meeting of the International Society for the Study

    of Women and Sexual Health (2003).


    El-Mofty, was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt in a family

    where most of its members were members of the medical profession

    and university professors. She joined the medical school of Cairo

    University and left after her first year with her husband who was

    on a Fullbright Scholarship to New York for four years where she

    studied Psychology. Returning to Cairo she worked for the Ministry

    of Health providing 300 schools in Western Cairo with psychological

    assessment and therapy. She joined Ain Shams University in 1975

    and for the past five years headed both the department of Psychology

    at the Faculty of Arts and the Department of Humanities at the Faculty

    of Environmental Research. She is presently involved in survey studies

    dealing with the onset of menstruation in girls and issues regarding


    Abdelhadi Eltahir is a holder of Medical Degree from

    the Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, and a Masters of

    Public Health from Columbia University in New York. Currently Dr.

    Eltahir is a Senior Technical Advisor at the Bureau for Global Health,

    United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington,

    DC. He is a member of MCH team and Reproductive Health Core Group

    for Africa Bureau. Dr. Eltahir spearheaded the USAID Initiatives

    on Prevention of Post-Partum Hemorrhage and FGC abandonment worldwide.

    Prior to this position he worked in Saudi Arabia as Head, Department

    of Public Health at the Health Science College in Dammam. As Assistant

    Clinical Professor at the School of Public Health, Columbia University,

    he provided assistance for implementation of Prevention of Maternal

    Mortality projects in West Africa. He worked in Sudan for many years

    as a practicing medical doctor where he performed medical, obstetric

    and surgical procedures as needed.

    Recently Dr. Eltahir received the USAID Population, Health and Nutrition

    Superior Service to the Field Award from Africa Bureau and Bureau

    for Global Health. Also, he received a number of awards from Columbia

    University, Royal Commission in Saudi Arabia, and Sudan Pediatric

    Specialists Society.


    Essén, MD, PhD, is a gynecologist in Sweden. She

    is running a clinic for immigrant women and reproductive health

    at the University Hospital of Malm?. She defended her thesis “Perinatal

    mortality among women from Africa´s Horn in Sweden”,

    2001. Her research area is SRHR (FGC, gender violence, honor violence,

    maternal mortality, culture-sensitive family planning etc), working

    in a multidisciplinary (obstetrician, epidemiologist, public health

    and social anthropologist) group at Lund University, running projects

    both in high- as well as lo- income countries.


    Fahmy, is Technical Officer at the Department of Reproductive

    Health and Research (RHR) of the World Health Organization, and

    is responsible for co-coordinating work on FGC. She holds a MA in

    Women’s Issues and International Relations, and PHC in Public Health.

    Ms. Fahmy has been involved with women’s related issues focusing

    on sexual health and FGC for 10 years, and has previously worked

    with WHO, UNHCR, UNFPA, Population Council. She has also consulted

    for CIDA and CEDPA, and previously participated in the design and

    implementation of several research studies on FGC.

    Vivian Fouad,


    Gruenbaum, Ph.D., is Professor of Anthropology at California

    State University, Fresno. In the 1970s, she lived in Sudan for five

    years, teaching at the University of Khartoum and doing research

    in medical and cultural anthropology. This was followed by additional

    research in 1989, 1992 and 2004. In 2004, she was affiliated with

    the Institute for Women, Gender and Development Studies at Ahfad

    University in Omdurman and later served as a research consultant

    for UNICEF and CARE on their FGM/C projects in eastern and western

    Sudan. She authored “The Female Circumcision Controversy: An

    Anthropological Perspective” (University of Pennsylvania Press,



    Osman Hassan, M.B., B.C.H., D.G.O., D.S., M.D. Professor,

    Obst. & Gyn. Dept., Mansoura Faculty of Medicine, Egypt. Secretary

    General, The Egyptian Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. Executive

    Director, The Egyptian Fertility Care Foundation, has published

    extensively in the field of gynaecology, obstetrics, family planning

    and reproductive health, and has conducted biomedical, socio-medical

    and socio-demographic research in the above fields. Dr. Ezzeldin

    has also conducted training programs in research methodologies and

    in different areas of reproductive health. Special research interests

    include contraceptive technologies, reproductive health issues especially

    postabortion care, FGC, maternal morbidity and infertility.


    R. Heiman, Ph.D. was named Director of The Kinsey Institute

    for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University,

    in June, 2004. She is appointed as Professor of Psychology at Indiana

    University and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at IU Medical School.

    She comes to The Kinsey Institute and IU from the School of Medicine

    at the University of Washington, where she was Professor of Psychiatry

    and Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Reproductive and Sexual

    Medicine Clinic and Associate Director for Psychotherapy Programs

    at the Outpatient Psychiatry Center. She is a researcher, clinician

    and an international authority in the field of human sexuality.

    Dr. Heiman serves on the Editorial Boards of Archives of Sexual

    Behavior, Psychology and Human Sexuality, Menopause and Editor-in-Chief

    of the Annual Review of Sex Research (2000-2004). She has edited

    a special issue of the Journal of Sex Research (August, 2000) focused

    on Medical Advances in Human Sexuality. In 2001, she was honored

    with the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Society

    of the Scientific Study of Sex, and was named Distinguished Psychologist

    by the Washington State Psychological Association. She has served

    on the National Institutes of Mental Health IRG as a study section

    member of the Life Course and Prevention committee, and has served

    on the Violence and Criminal Behavior committee and the Violence

    and Traumatic Stress committee. From 1997-1999, she was a national

    reviewer on the Social Science Research Council’s Human Sexuality

    Research Fellowship Program. She has been a panelist on the National

    Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on interventions

    to prevent HIV risk behavior (1997) and co-chaired the Second Cape

    Cod Conference on Sexual Function and Assessment in Clinical Trials:

    Female Sexual Dysfunction (1998). She is currently an NIH special

    reviewer as well as a consultant to several pharmacology firms.

    She has been elected as; President of the International Academy

    of Sex Research, National Board Member of the Society for the Scientific

    Study of Sex, and President of the American Board of Family Psychology.

    Dr. Heiman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State

    University of New York at Stony Brook. She then was funded by an

    NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for work in the Department

    of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Stony Brook. She was

    a Research Scientist with the Long Island Research Institute and

    a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral

    Sciences at SUNY Stony Brook before going to the University of Washington

    for 23 years. Dr. Heiman has published broadly in the area of sex

    research on male and female sexual function and dysfunction, psychophysiological

    components of female and male sexual arousal patterns, outcome research

    of sexual dysfunction, and correlates of histories of childhood

    sexual and physical abuse.


    Martin Hilber, is a Technical Officer in the Department

    of Reproductive Health and Research in the Unit on Gender and Reproductive

    Rights. Since 2002, she has been the coordinator of the new departmental

    area of work on Sexual Health. The work on sexual health focuses

    on building the evidence base for sexual health programming and

    research on gender, sexuality and vaginal practices. In addition

    to working on sexuality and sexual health, she also works on Human

    Rights, policies and maternal and newborn health. Ms. Hilber has

    a degree in development economics and politics and a degree in public

    health. She is currently pursuing a PhD in public health focusing

    on health policy.

    Abdulcadir Omar Hussen, M.D., was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. Dr.

    Hussen is currently head of the Research Center for Preventing and

    Curing FGM and its Complications at the Department of Gynaecology

    and Obstetrics of Florence. Graduate of Medicine and Surgery, Dr.

    Hussen has specialized in Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the University

    of Florence. He is also in charge of Social Health Coordination

    for immigrants in Tuscany. In addition, Dr. Hussen is coordinator

    and organizer of the first international congress “Contribution

    to a Socio-Medical Integration of Extra-Communitarian Immigrants”

    and organizer/coordinator of four conferences on contraception for

    immigrant communities of African, Arab, Eastern European and Asian

    backgrounds (held in Milan, Florence, Turin and Trieste).


    Lethem Ibrahim, Ph.D. is regional director for West Asia

    and North Africa at the Population Council, a position she has held

    since 1991. She previously served as the Middle East program officer

    for urban poverty and women’s studies programs for the Ford Foundation,

    Cairo. Ibrahim received an M.A. from the American University of

    Beirut and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. She was principal investigator

    on a major national survey of adolescents and their parents conducted

    in Egypt in 1997, as well as on a current impact study of Ishraq,

    a sports and empowerment program for rural girls. Ibrahim advises

    groups in Jordan, Pakistan, and Iran on national youth research,

    and is a member of a regional working group that conducts research

    on issues related to the Arab family. She is developing new programs

    to enhance local philanthropy and forge stronger links between research,

    activist, and policy communities. Ibrahim received the Lifetime

    Achievement Award from the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies

    in 2003, and was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame (USA)

    in 1999. She serves on numerous international boards.

    R. Elise B. Johansen, is a PhD student of medical anthropology,

    University of Oslo. She has conducted research in Norway focusing

    on the perceptions of women and men affected by FGC now living in

    Norway on the practice and their experience; birth-care for infibulated

    women. Previously published articles on FGC include themes of pain,

    sexuality and birth care/birth experiences. She is presently leader

    of the OK Project, a national project in Norway working with information

    and communication related to FGC, with affected communities and

    public services. Johansen is a former researcher on non-cutting

    female initiation rituals (Tanzania), and reproductive health rituals,

    sexuality and humor among Norwegian youth. She is presently planning

    a post-doctoral study titled “Is All Genital Mutilation Mutilating?”

    on comparing different genital practices in relation to health,

    ethical and political definitions compared to local meanings.

    Sarah Johnsdotter, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the Department of

    Social Anthropology, Lund University, Sweden. She has been conducting

    research in cooperation with Dr. Birgitta Essen for eight years,

    on issues of FGC and legal aspects, cultural exchange due to migration

    and sexual ideologies. Her doctoral thesis, “Created by God:

    How Somalis in Swedish Exile Reassess the Practice of Female Circumcision”

    was completed in 2002.


    Lovel, is Senior Lecturer (WHO Collaborating Center for

    Primary Care), University of Manchester, UK. She has set up and

    run nationally recognized research training (MRes Health and Community).

    Previously she worked for 15 years at the Center for International

    Child Health, University College, London, latterly as Director MSc

    and Child Health. Her FGM research started in 1996 with a WHO commissioned

    systematic literature search and review of health complications

    from which she developed 4 research protocols to investigate childbirth,

    psychosexual, psychological comorbidity sequelae in sociocultural/socioeconomic

    aspects. The childbirth study is ongoing in a 6-community completing

    soon. She is also working with the Somali community in Manchester.

    Zeinab Mohamed, BSc in Nursing,

    is a Somali registered nurse and midwife, PhD currently in progress

    at the University of Salford, U.K. She is currently working as a

    Research Associate in a research project at the University of Manchester.

    She has also previously worked as a Research Associate on different

    projects looking into the heads of migrant communities in the UK

    and access and inclusion initiatives. She is also on the Board of

    different organizations both voluntary and governmental bodies working

    with minority ethnic communities in the UK investigating how to

    improve the quality of life for the communities.


    Nour, MD is actively researching the health and policy

    issues regarding female genital cutting (FGC) locally and internationally.

    She has spoken in numerous academic and national conferences regarding

    the medical management of women who have undergone this practice.

    Committed to the eradication of FGC, she travels throughout the

    country conducting workshops to educate African refugees and immigrants

    on the medical complications and legal issues of this practice.

    She was recently on an FGC task force for the American College of

    Obstetrics and Gynecology. She served as the primary author for

    Female Genital Cutting, Clinical Management of Circumcised Women,

    published by ACOG. This slide-lecture kit aims to educate obstetricians-gynecologists

    on the medical management of circumcised women in the United States

    and Canada. Dr. Nour is a board certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist

    and is the Director of the Obstetric Resident Practice at the Harvard-affiliated

    Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She is an assistant

    professor at Harvard Medical School. She has also established an

    African Women’s Health Practice that provides appropriate health

    and outreach programs to the African community in Boston. Dr. Nour

    was honored as a 2003 MacArthur Foundation Fellow for creating the

    country’s only center of its kind that focuses on both physical

    and emotional needs of female circumcision victims. This work has

    been covered by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington

    Post, NPR, O and Essence magazine and CNN Espaniol.

    Born in the Sudan and raised in Egypt and England, Dr. Nour came

    to the United States to attend Brown University. She received her

    medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994 and completed

    a chief residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Brigham and

    Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA in 1998. She received the Commonwealth

    Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Health Policy where she obtained

    her MPH at Harvard School of Public Health in 1999. She was subsequently

    awarded the H. Richard Nesson Fellowship from the Brigham and Women’s

    Hospital for her community work and outreach.

    Friday Okonofua is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and

    Gynaecology and Provost, College of Medical Sciences, at the University

    of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. His present appointments include

    the post of Secretary-General of the Society of Gynaecology and

    Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), and Director of the Women’s Health

    and Action Research Center. Prof Okonofua is also the Editor of

    the African Journal of Reproductive Health, Journal of Medicine

    and Biomedical Research, and Women’s Health Forum. He is the Associate

    Editor of the Nigerian Medical Journal as well as a member of the

    international advisory group of the British Journal of Obstetrics

    and Gynaecology. He is a reviewer of reproductive health articles

    to several journals including the British Journal of Obstetrics

    and Gynaecology, Studies in Family Planning, African Journal of

    Medicine and Medical Sciences, Nigerian Medical Journal and West

    African Journal of Medicine. Other appointments include Adjunct

    Visiting Scientist in Reproductive Health, Harvard School of Public

    Health, Boston, USA, and Adjunct and PHD Candidate, Department of

    Public Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Prof. Okonofua

    has also published extensively on women’s health issues.


    Sheble graduated from The American University in Cairo

    in 2000 with a double BA, Arabic and Islamic and Studies, English

    and Comparative Literature and a minor in Gender Studies. Currently

    working as a teaching assistant of Arabic Literature at AUC, finishing

    MA in Arabic Literature (research topic: feminism and Sufism in

    modern Arabic literature written by women in Egypt), working as

    editor of school books and an independent researcher and activist

    in the field of women’s rights, especially violence against women,

    namely FGM and the phenomenon of battered wives. Ms. Sheble has

    published articles in a number of encyclopedias and journals, such

    as the Encyclopedia of African Studies, and Tiba (a feminist journal

    published by New Woman Research Centre). She has also prticipated

    in merous panels discussion, conferences, TV interviews concerning

    the topics of FGM/C, e image of women in the media with focus on

    the image of veiled women in the media.


    Johannes Van Dam is the director of the Robert H. Ebert

    Program on Critical Issues in Reproductive Health. Prior to this

    position, he was the deputy director and senior program associate

    for the Population Council’s International Programs Division. He

    coordinates operations research on sexually transmitted infections

    and HIV/AIDS and serves as liaison to a number of international

    organizations. Prior to joining the Population Council, van Dam

    worked for UNAIDS providing technical assistance to national AIDS

    committees to help develop, implement, and evaluate program activities.

    Van Dam also served as a medical officer with the World Health Organization’s

    Global Programme on AIDS and as a public health expert for the Commission

    of European Communities’ AIDS Task Force. Van Dam has given presentations

    at conferences and workshops around the world. He received his M.D.

    degree from the University of Amsterdam, a diploma in Tropical Medicine

    and Hygiene from the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, and

    an M.S. in Community Health in Developing Countries from the London

    School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.