UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Female genital mutilation in France and the UK : the role of non-governmental organizations in policy formation Pazdor, Margery Rose


By comparing female genital mutilation (FGM) policy between two European countries, this thesis will show how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) affect the policy-making process. Both France and the UK have large immigrant populations from countries traditionally practicing FGM, and became aware of its occurrence in Europe concurrently with increasing international feminist mobilization against the issue. Each country developed policies towards FGM, but these policies were very different between the two countries. Both countries criminalized the practice, but France did so by conducting prosecutions of parents and traditional practitioners of FGM while the UK did so by enacting legislation that was never enforced. Examining the narrative of events leading to the different policy outcomes shows the extent to which NGOs influenced the outcome. NGOs are seen to have powerful influence via framing strategies, and through creating knowledge and expertise. It is found that their influence was contingent on chance events providing windows of opportunity for action.

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