Viewing cable 05MUSCAT402
Title: FEMALE CIRCUMCISION IN OMAN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT4022005-03-08 06:19:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 000402 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR G/IWI, NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), DRL (RTAGGART) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KWMN SOCI PHUM MU
SUBJECT: FEMALE CIRCUMCISION IN OMAN 
 
¶1. According to a survey conducted by the United Nations 
Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization in 
conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MOH), almost 80 
percent of young Omani males and females believe that female 
circumcision (aka female genital mutilation, or FGM) is 
"necessary and important."  The random sample polled over 
3,500 sixteen to eighteen-year-old adolescents as part of an 
overall survey of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of 
secondary school students. 
 
¶2.  An official at the MOH said she was "unprepared and 
shocked" by the unusually high degree of approval, believing 
until now that the practice was rare and on the decline. 
While the high social acceptance of female circumcision does 
not necessarily correlate to an equally high rate of 
incidence, it does suggest that the practice may be more 
prevalent than previously thought.  Although doctors in Omani 
hospitals are prohibited from performing the procedure, girls 
are reportedly often taken to physicians at private clinics 
in the neighboring UAE for the procedure. 
 
¶3.  The Ministry of Health is trying to formulate a strategy 
to tackle what might be a significant public health concern. 
But, before it can begin to address the issue on a policy 
level, officials at the MOH and UNICEF say they require more 
time to fully assess the prevalence of the practice and the 
type of circumcision performed.  In an initial attempt to 
open the topic to discussion, the issue of female 
circumcision received brief mention in the Sultanate's 2005 
national health strategy.  Moreover, the Ministry of Health 
has forwarded its findings to relevant committees at the 
United Nations. 
BALTIMORE