Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African American Studies


Linda Carty

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Narratives about female genital cutting (FGC) have socio-historically been told in the realm of nongovernmental organization (NGO) discourse. NGO discourse reproduces monolithic understandings about girls impacted by FGC. Previous research reveals how NGOs replicate the tune of neoliberal agendas due to the contributions of donors in the Global North prompted by narrative formulations concocted in the Global South. Interviews were conducted with girls aged 15-21 seeking safe shelter from child marriage and female genital cutting and a translator, at the Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM), an NGO in Moshi, Tanzania. Case study excerpts from NAFGEM’s website, field notes, and observational analyses were also integrated into data analytics. The findings of the research revealed that due to the presence of the translator, who is also an employee at NAFGEM, the girls’ voices were obfuscated so that the aims of the organization could be advanced. The translator’s interjections during the interviews caused the girls’ lived realities to be lost in translation. In the process of mistranslation, both the translator and the girls become reformed, recognizable others, recognizable in the NGO sphere, but unrecognizable to themselves.


Open Access

Available for download on Sunday, August 15, 2021