Topic: Violence and abuse

Female genital cutting among Kurdish migrants in Norway

Several studies indicate that the prevalence of female genital cutting in an exile setting is small. At the same time, there has been a focus on Somalis in Research, interventions and in the media. We know that female genital cutting is common in Kurdish parts of Iran and Iraq, however, little is known about female genital cutting amongst Kurds in Norway despite the fact that this is one of the largest migrant groups in Norway which comes from countries where female genital cutting is known to occur. This is a doctoral Research Project where Ingvild Bergom Lunde is the PhD Candidate.

2014 This project has been completed 2019

Project Manager

Project Member

  • Lunde, Ingvild

Main objective

The overall aim of this study is to:

  • Explore the perceptions, experiences and attitudes of female genital cutting among Kurdish migrants in Norway

To achieve this aim, the study has the following research questions:

  • How is female genital cutting negotiated in the Kurdish freedom and women’s liberation struggle?
  • How are silences of female genital cutting negotiated between daughters and mothers, and between women and men? How do perceptions of female sexuality elaborate on these silences? 
  • How is the conceptualization of the condemnation of female genital cutting reflected in the questioing of the tolerance of male circumcision?

It is envisaged that this study will contribute to broaden the debate of female genital cutting in general and of female genital cutting among exile communities in particular. Furthermore, the project should be useful for planning future interventions of female genital cutting in exile communities.


The project has an explorative and flexible design. The research project employs qualitative research methods including in-depth interviews, group interviews and participant observation.


Lunde, I., Hauge, M. I., Johansen, R. E. B., & Sagbakken, M. (2020). ‘Why did I circumcise him?’ Unexpected comparisons to male circumcision in a qualitative study on female genital cutting among Kurdish-Norwegians. Ethnicities, 1-22. doi:10.1177/1468796819896089

Lunde, I., Johansen, R. E. B., Hauge, M. I., & Sagbakken, M. (2020). Sexually destroyed or empowered? Silencing female genital cutting in close relationships. Culture, Health and Sexuality. doi:10.1080/13691058.2020.1738553

Lunde, I., Sagbakken, M., & Johansen, R. E. B. (2019). Negotiating female genital cutting as a difficult characteristic in Kurdish national identity. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 9(3), 363-381. doi:10.2478/njmr-2019-0011