PhD Research

Title: Empty Promises? Compliance with the Human Rights Framework in relation to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Senegal
Supervisors: prof. dr. M.S. Groenhuijsen (Tilburg University), prof. dr. R.M. Letschert (Tilburg University), prof. dr. E. Leye (Ghent University)
Committee members: prof. dr. E. Brems (Ghent University), prof. dr. Y.M. Donders (University of Amsterdam), prof. dr. K. de Feyter (University of Antwerp), N.J. Diop (UNFPA New York)
Defense date: 18 March 2016, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

CoverMy research addresses the practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), also known as female circumcision. The practice is defined as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” UNICEF estimates that at least 200 million girls and women around the world have undergone FGM/C. Over the last decades, discourse in relation to the elimination of FGM/C is positioned within the scope of international and regional human rights law. The practice is considered a form of Violence Against Women (VAW) and a human rights violation. A comprehensive human rights framework exists at both the international and regional levels that addresses VAW and harmful practices in general, and FGM/C in particular. Despite the various international and regional (quasi) legal norms addressing the practice of FGM/C, the prevalence rates have remained high in many of the countries where FGM/C occurs. This raises the question to what extent (and why) States comply, or in the case of FGM/C, appear not to comply, with the human rights framework that is designed to eliminate the practice. I selected Senegal as a case study. The central question of my research was the following: Which factors explain compliance and/or non-compliance with the human rights framework in relation to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Senegal?

Summary PhD Research

A summary of my PhD research can be downloaded via this website in English and French.

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I am a passionate human rights scholar with unique expertise on the practice Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.