Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)
여성 할례| The One With Jessica Puri — Episode 8 (2022)
Female genital mutilation or cutting is not just an African thing; it’s Middle Eastern, and Asian and it is even being practised in the USA — Jessica Puri
Trigger Warning: This article will discuss varied experiences with suicidal attempts and female genital mutilation/cutting. This may be triggering to readers with similar experiences.
Jessica was born in Nigeria, and it was great to have another Nigerian on the show! Ayomide and I grew up in southern Nigeria, while Jessica is from Plateau State, in northern Nigeria. Jessica currently lives and works in Chicago and has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Loyola and a master’s in public health from DePaul University. She is a doctoral candidate in the Social Sciences and Health Track at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, where she also teaches a course on Field Studies In Public Health. Jessica’s prior research experience includes studies on HIV, female genital cutting, physician cultural competence, and health equity in Chicago. In addition, her interests include health equity, health promotion, global health, and health behavior theory.
Her typical day isn’t typical: she teaches evening classes twice a week. When not teaching, she’s researching female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), grading papers, or preparing lectures. These days, she gets to determine how she uses her time each day.
Her Christian faith underlies what she does. The most important bible verse to her, and what she considers the foundation of her career, is Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in” (NIV). In this verse, she is able to ground her interest in refugee care, food, water and security, and poverty — all of which are a focus of public health, one of her core areas. And in moments of exhaustion, especially with the gravity…