Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting among Migrant Women and Girls

Dr. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu and Owliya Abdalla (Somali Cultural Health Navigator) with a Somali patient. Photo courtesy of Valleywise Health, Refugee Women’s Health Clinic.

Dr. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu and Owliya Abdalla (Somali Cultural Health Navigator) with a Somali patient.
Photo courtesy of Valleywise Health, Refugee Women’s Health Clinic.

What we are doing: In partnership with Dr. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu and the Office of Refugee Health , ROVV published the first known large-scale quantitative study on the victimization-health link among Somali women and girls in Arizona.  Our research finds that Somali women and girls in Arizona exposed to victimization have significantly more health problems, are less likely to have a designated place to receive healthcare, and identified more healthcare needs and barriers compared to non-victims.

Why it matters:  Migrant women are at remarkably high risk of victimization, yet very little research or health care had previously focused on this underserved population. Most Somali women and girls have undergone FGM/C, which is the removal of part or all of female genitalia for non-medical reasons and it is recognized globally as a public health problem (World Health Organization).

See our study published in the American Journal of Public Health and our policy brief published in partnership with ASU’s Morrison Institute.