Women Missionaries and Colonial Silences in Kenya’s Female ‘Circumcision’ Controversy

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For the people of Kenya, recent global debates on the emotional and medical harm caused by female genital mutilation (FGM), allied to arguments about the human rights of the women subjected to such acts, have a significant historical resonance. David Anderson discusses the actions and attitudes of white women missionaries in the early 1930s, arguing that, as the ‘female circumcision’ crisis developed during 1929, these women stood at the centre of the gathering storm.

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