International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Embodying Transition: FGC, Displacement, and Gender-Making for Sudanese in Cairo

Authors

Anita Fábos

Document Type

Article

Abstract

In this article I analyze both generalized propriety as a boundary marker of Sudanese identity in Cairo, and gendered attitudes toward morality and female genital cutting (FGC) as a fundamental aspect of that boundary. Sudanese have been profoundly affected by the ongoing political crisis in their home country, by the displacement triggered by political and economic collapse, and by their deteri- orating legal and social status in Egypt. The dramatic changes in the circumstances of Sudanese residence in Cairo have challenged the cultural norm of gender com- plementarity as men ‘stay at home’ for want of work while women seek and find new opportunities for themselves. This unstable situation has led Sudanese to place more emphasis on ‘proper’ ways of behaving and being, an assertion that helps define the ethnic boundaries of the Sudanese community in Cairo. I demonstrate the inconsistencies between discourse and reality through ethnographic data while analyzing how Sudanese have found new ways of asserting their identity and resist- ing the practice of FGC. © 2001 Feminist Review Collective.

Publication Title

Feminist Review

Publication Date

1-1-2001

Volume

69

Issue

1

First Page

90

Last Page

110

ISSN

0141-7789

DOI

10.1080/01417780110070139

Keywords

dislocation, female circumcision, gender, gender and morality, maternity, Sudanese, Sudanese community

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