Gendered and Racialised Epistemological Injustice in FGM-Safeguarding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper explores FGM-safeguarding in the UK through a decolonial lens. Based on an analysis of the development of law and policy relating to ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ in the UK alongside data collected in focus groups with people of ethnic Somali heritage living in Bristol, we argue that the current legislation and policies, as well as their delivery, are steeped in colonial Othering. We demonstrate that legislative and policy approaches operate through a gendered and generational binary in which non-White mothers are othered as migrants (regardless of citizenship status) for whom anachronistic culture is deemed determinative, whilst their daughters are claimed as British. In this construction, ‘FGM’ operates as the symbolic marker that designates un/belonging: the uncircumcised girl is rescuable and claimed as ‘one of us’, whilst the circumcised mother is considered a mutilated political subject for whom belonging is foreclosed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Early online date24 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Journal for Law and Society and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice
  • SPS Children and Families Research Centre


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