Ms Nina Van Eekert
Nina Van Eekert is a PhD candidate at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University, Belgium who performs research on the topic of the medicalization of female genital cutting (FGC). The United Nations, the Word Health Organisation and other important international and national institutions strongly opposes medicalized FGC, mainly based on the argumentation that the involvement of health-care providers in the performance of FGC is likely to create a legitimization of the practice which can further contribute to an institutionalization of the practice and therefore impede progress towards the abandonment of FGC. Yet, to date, no empirical research confirms this proposition and it remains unclear whether medicalization actually counteracts the abandonment of FGC. Counterarguments are that medicalization of FGC functions as a harm-reduction strategy and as a means of sensitization for health risks of FGC and will eventually lead to abandonment. Also, medicalization might make the practice less visible making it less subject of social control. The current PhD project aims to fil this gap in the literature by exploring trends in medicalization of the practice and it’ association with women’s social position using data from both Egypt and Kenya. Main research questions include the examination of the social profile and motivations of women who opt for a medicalized cut, as well as how this medicalization trend associates with overall prevalence rates of FGC. Comparing Egypt and Kenya is interesting due to their deviating FGC trends. Half of medicalized cuts worldwide are performed in Egypt, while prevalence rates remain high as well. Kenya, on the contrary, is the only country where increases in medicalization rates go together with decreases in FGC prevalence rates.
Publications of Nina2021 Perceived group discrimination based on one's gender and the gender gap in depression in Europe
2021 The medicalisation of female genital cutting : harm reduction or social norm?
2020 Towards a better estimation of prevalence of female genital mutilation in the European Union : a situation analysis
Lotte De Schrijver, Els Leye2020 An examination of the medicalization trend in female genital cutting in Egypt : how does it relate to a girl's risk of being cut?
2020 Seeking a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of sexual pain in women who have undergone female genital cutting
2020 To medicalize or not to medicalize : is that the question? Exploring medicalization of female genital cutting in Egypt and Kenya
2019 Debating medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) : learning from (policy) experiences across countries
Els Leye2019 The association between women’s social position and the medicalization of female genital cutting in Egypt