In Burkina Faso, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), its legal ban, and (transnational) anti-FGM/C campaigns aimed at societal change, intersect. The surgical repair of the negative health consequences of FGM/C, such as the removal of scar tissue and keloids, is widely practiced (Sawadogo, 2007). However, surgery for clitoris reconstruction is not regarded unambiguously positively either in Burkina Faso or abroad; some fear that the campaigns against FGM/C are undermined by the idea that the cutting can be reversed (Creighton, Bewley, and Liao, 2012; Jirovsky, 2010). Clitoral reconstruction is not subsidized in Burkina Faso, in contrast to surgery for the purpose of harm reduction (Jirovsky, 2010). The costs of clitoral reconstruction are not easily affordable (Baqué and Kouyaté, 2014). Hence, the possibility of this surgery is unrealistic for most women in Burkina Faso.

FGM/C as a practice is inseparably intertwined with gendered social and moral notions pertaining to female bodies, sexuality and female conduct. The narratives about surgical and other practices on female genitals documented in ethnographic fieldwork in Bobo-Dioulasso also suggest an intricate entanglement of issues pertaining to reconstructive surgery after FGM/C on a social and cultural level. Drawing on fieldwork in Burkina Faso conducted between 2008 and 2015, this chapter discusses different views of clitoral reconstruction and FGM/C. It emphasizes a critical and culturally sensitive approach when it comes to clitoral reconstructive surgery and attention to real-life circumstances and social norms.