CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Djibouti is generally considered as “women’s deal”. Thus, not only is the practice of FGM relegated to the domestic sphere but so is the fight against it. If this assertion is far from being groundless, it nevertheless gives the illusion of a power granted to women and suggests the absence of men. However, if women’s involvement in the fight against FGM seems to be legitimate regarding the cause- they are the first victims – men’s absence in this particular context of Djibouti – strong male dominated society- raises some questions. Why don’t men involved in the FGM scene? Based on the results of an anthropological fieldwork, this article aims to deconstruct the so-called “women’s business”. It explores the rationale behind this assertion and investigates the apparent absence of men in order to shed light on what is played out through this invisibility. We will thus see how by making themselves invisible in the FGM scene, men succeed in reinforcing gender inequality in society.


  • female genital mutilation
  • “women's deal”
  • invisibility of men
  • men's domination
  • gender imbalance
  • gender inequality
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