Mar 22, 2023

Dr. Angela Deane featured at world premiere on documentary about female genital mutilation/cutting

Koromousso, Big Sister premiered at the Human Rights Film Festival

Dr. Angela Deane stands beside film poster

Dr. Angela Deane was recently featured in the world premiere and panel discussion of Koromousso, Big Sister, a documentary presented at the Human Rights Film Festival in Toronto about African-Canadian women in pursuit of healing after experiencing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

As an emerging global leader in the care of those impacted by (FGM/C), Deane was also interviewed in the National Film Board of Canada-funded documentary.

Following the screening, Deane—who is currently staff at North York General Hospital—joined co-directors Habibata Ouarme and Jim Donovan as well as Human Rights Watch women’s rights division deputy director Regina Tamés for a discussion of the issues explored in the documentary.

Koromousso: Big Sister explores the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting from the perspective of those who have experienced it.

As a gynaecologist with a special interest and expertise in the care for those impacted by the practice of FGM/C, Deane says she “was honoured to be part of the world premiere of this documentary and partner with the advocacy community to continue to shed light on this important issue.”

In the film, co-director Ouarme shares her own story of experiencing FGM/C, while introducing a group of African-Canadian women who are supporting each other as they try to overcome the trauma of female genital mutilation, and take back ownership of their bodies.

The documentary also examines the challenges that women who have experienced FGM/C face when navigating our Canadian medical system, which Deane has seen first-hand, both as a former labour-and-delivery nurse, and now as an obstetrician-gynaecologist.

“These individuals are often met with healthcare workers who often have received very little training about the practice of FGM/C and its health complications,” Deane said.

“We have many women living in Canada who have been impacted by the practice of FGM/C. We are working to improve the care they receive through multidisciplinary collaboration, education initiatives, and partnership with key stakeholders within the communities of those impacted by FGM/C.”

In 2018, Deane began training with Dr. Marci Bowers, world expert in reconstructive techniques, to address the consequences of FGM/C.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the University of Toronto to develop expertise and resources to provide holistic care to those impacted by FGM/C,” Deane said.

The documentary release happened to coincide with a major milestone: Deane recently performed the first clitoral reconstructive surgery in Toronto.

“It is incredibly rewarding to offer such a transformative surgery as a part of one’s healing journey,” Deane said.

Koromousso: Big Sister has since had its international premiere in London before being screened as part of the Human Rights Film Festival in New York. The documentary can also be viewed online.