Improving maternity care for women with female genital mutilation
Student: Sabera Turkmani
More than 200,000 women in Australia* are estimated to have experienced female genital mutilation or be at high risk, but training and awareness surrounding the issue is not currently reflected in Australian maternity policy and practice. PhD student Sabera Turkmani’s research into the maternity care experiences and needs of migrant women with female genital mutilation (FGM) is the first of its kind in Australia that aims to provide a comprehensive picture of maternity care for these women.
The research examines the quality of healthcare services for women who have undergone FGM in Australia, highlights the policy, socio-cultural and healthcare gaps and sheds light on future directions necessary to improve quality care for these women. The study addresses the questions: how is the culture of women with FGM acknowledged in maternity care and how could culture be better integrated in health services? What are FGM affected women’s expectations of maternity health services and how they can be meaningfully involved in the design and planning of maternity services and information in Australia?
The research aims to identify the best approaches to inform culturally safe and high quality women-centred care and contribute to maternity policy and practice improvements for migrant women in Australia who have undergone FGM. This qualitative study applies an appreciative inquiry approach understand the perspective and needs of the participants.
"The collaborative involvement of the women provides a sense of ownership, and enables them to express and reflect on their experiences, values and ideas of healthcare services."
*According to the No FGM Australia 2018 Report on FGM Prevalence in Australia