Arch Iran Med. 2016;19(11): 0-0.
PMID: 27845551
Scopus ID: 84995756487
  Abstract View: 820
  PDF Download: 441


Socioeconomic and Reproductive Health Outcomes of Female Genital Mutilation

Mansoureh Refaei, Soodabeh Aghababaei * , Abolghasem Pourreza, Seyedeh Zahra Masoumi


BACKGROUND: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the important aspects of reproductive health. The economic, social and health consequences of FGM threaten the achievement of sustainable development goals. The purpose of this study was to assess the economic, social and reproductive health consequences of FGM from the perspective of individual, family, community and health system. 

METHODS: In this study, we reviewed 1536 articles from 1979 to 2015. Fifty-one studies were directly related to our goal. Research papers, review articles, case studies and books on the research topic were used. 

RESULTS: The results of this review showed that most studies on FGM, have investigated health complications of FGM, and few studies have addressed its socioeconomic aspects. The complications from the FGM can impose a significant economic burden on individuals, society and health system. Social consequences of FGM are more irritating than health consequences, so to tackle this practice; its social aspects should be more emphasized. Significant short and long term consequences of FGM threaten women’s reproductive health; Reproductive health is one of the essential prerequisites of sustainable development. Sustainable development will be achieved if women are healthy. This practice can threaten achieving sustainable development. In Iran, FGM is performed in some areas, but there are no official statistics about it and there has yet been no plan to deal with FGM.
CONCLUSION: FGM is a form of social injustice which women suffer. Ending FGM requires a deep and long-term commitment. Knowing its consequences and its effects on individual, families, the health system and community will help supporters to continue fighting this practice. Any money spent on eliminating this harmful practice, compared with the costs of complications, would not be wasteful.  It seems that further studies are needed to assess socioeconomic effects of FGM and the relationship between type of FGM and induced complications. Such studies will help policymakers to tackle this practice.
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ePublished: 01 Nov 2016
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