skip to content

University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies


Ms Mamasa CamaraGates Cambridge International Scholarship

The Political Economy of Female Circumcision

Supervisor: Dr Adam Branch (Department of Politics and International Studies)




The smallest West African nation of the Gambia has, in recent years, become the stage for an intensive debate surrounding the practice of female circumcision as well as a great deal of change in both the practice itself and the discourses that surround it. Through feminist and postcolonial analysis as well as the historical analysis of archives, my research project offers a case-based study on the dynamics of these debates and the extent to which they are shaped by both global and local processes (like democratization, Islamic revivalism and modernization) and by the shifting dynamics of culture, gender and power. I ask the following questions: (1) What are the mechanisms of this process? (2) What regimes of rule, politics and entangled knowledge structure the field upon which female circumcision is discursively produced and negotiated and (3) How have they affected both the gendered subjectivities and lived experiences of Gambian women as well as the relations between citizens and the State?