'Ngaitana (I Will Circumcise Myself)': The Gender and Generational Politics of the 1956 Ban on Clitoridectomy in Meru, Kenya

Title'Ngaitana (I Will Circumcise Myself)': The Gender and Generational Politics of the 1956 Ban on Clitoridectomy in Meru, Kenya
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsThomas, Lynn M.
JournalGender & History
Volume8
Issue3
Start Page338
Pagination338-363
Abstract

In this article, Thomas examines the gendered politics surrounding the practice of clitoridectomy, which was banned by the local male leaders of the Meru community of Kenya in April 1956. Defiance of the ban spread quickly, but the ban forced practices to change, as adolescent girls defied the ban but also jettisoned the ceremonies accompanying the initiation ritual. Contextualizing these events in a time shaped by the Mau Mau rebellion and the accompanying State of Emergency, Thomas explores the dangers posed to those who persisted in the now underground practice.

URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0424.1996.tb00062.x/epdf
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DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0424.1996.tb00062.x