Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Anne Quinney

Second Advisor

Daniel O'Sullivan

Third Advisor

Olivier G. Tonnerre

Relational Format



According to the U.N, no fewer than five girls undergo genital mutilation every minute. They are cut, told that it is the price to be paid for womanhood, to be accepted by the society and fully integrated into it. However, they are never told about the dangerous aspects and the fact that this act may lead to bacterial infections, may cause sterility, increases their risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases as well as developing complications during childbirth, distorting their perceptions of their sexuality. They bleed just to be called "women", because tradition stipulates it. All it does is harm women and although it is not expressly condoned in certain areas, some religious, societal and moral notions uphold it. This thesis seeks to depict the situation the African woman finds herself in, especially female genital mutilation in Francophone literature, especially those from an African and Arab background. The evolution of opinions on FGM as seen through the eyes of women and men who see and feel the plight of women would be discussed. Possible factors which bear on the adaptation of viewpoints on FGM which include social beliefs, improved education facilities would also be taken into consideration. In conclusion, possible steps to protect women's rights, avoidance of its attendant results such as violence, separation from loved ones would also be studied in depth.


Emphasis: Languages, Specialization: French



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