Digital Public Defence: Ingvild Bergom Lunde

Mphil Ingvild Bergom Lunde at Institutt for helse og samfunn will be defending the thesis “A qualitative study on female genital cutting among Kurdish-Norwegians” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Runhild Grønlie.

The University of Oslo arranges all public defences digitally this semester, thus the disputation will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The public defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here


Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Lecturer Matthew Johnson, Lancaster University
  • Second opponent: Senior Lecturer Vanja Berggren, Karolinska Institutet
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Gunvor Aasbø, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Siri Vangen, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Researcher Mona-Iren Hauge, Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies


Ingvild Bergom Lunde’s doctoral thesis implies that condemnation and silence are central in how some Kurds in Norway relate to female genital cutting (FGC). The stigma associated with the work against female genital cutting, which aims to strengthen girls’ and women’s health and rights, can be difficult to deal with, but it may also serve to strengthen boys’ and men’s right to bodily integrity and promote women’s rights to sexual pleasure and desire.

Lunde has conducted fieldwork and interviewed 19 Kurdish women and 9 Kurdish men born in either Iran or Iraq, and who have lived in Norway between six to 20 years.

FGC was not necessarily a problem at an individual level, but was both silenced and addressed as a Kurdish problem. Even though conservative and traditional forces are part of the Kurdish nation-building project, condemnation and silence around FGC can be interpreted as a way to position Kurdish national aspiration within human rights, feminism, and gender equality.

FGC was furthermore little talked about in close relationships, particularly between mothers and daughters and between married couples. All types of FGC are forbidden in Norway. From public discourse, Kurdish men and women learn that circumcised women are sexually destroyed. Condemning the practice gave partners an opportunity to talk about how FGC may affect their sexual relationship.

The type of FGC practiced among Kurds is no easily separated from boy circumcision. The research participants expressed confusion over FGC as condemned, and boy circumcision as acceptable.  

Future research on FGC should focus on the sexual and psychological consequences of less invasive forms of FGC, and acknowledge the similarities between boy and girl circumcision. 


Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published May 28, 2020 10:50 AM - Last modified June 15, 2020 9:18 AM