The conundrum of female circumcision is a topic of heated ´global ´ debates on human rights and the health of women and children. Considering the attention this topic receives internationally, how does the discourse of circumcision look on the local, subjective level? Based on a six months fieldwork in the town of Harar in Eastern Ethiopia, this thesis explores the local meanings of circumcision, and further, how these are intricately connected to local processes of change. For girls and women in Harar, circumcision seems to be connected to the fulfillment of a gendered identity, of becoming fully woman. It has enabled the embodiment of particular feminized skills, the construction of female bodies, sexuality and the ability to identify as respectable, pure Muslim women. This further led to an exploration of the construction of gender, which retrospectively called for theories on gender that stress its social dimensions, and simultaneously avoid the assumption of bodies as fixed entities. The uncircumcised body, I argue, appears as incomplete and constantly ´in the making´. In relation to change, the stories of girls and women in Harar, and my time spent with them, revealed discussions on the validity of female circumcision. There seems to be an ongoing change in gender relations, ideals of marriage, virginity and religious ideals, where circumcision is no longer an inevitable mechanism. Consequently I apply theories on change and agency that identifies potential for change of tradition and religion within the social context from which they derived. In this I combine a discursive approach, which explores debates of religious concepts and ´legitimate´ social bodies, and theories of embodiment, which focus on individual experiences and agency through everyday conduct. Considering the intimacy and politicization of the topic, this thesis relates to anthropological debates on representation and writing. It agrees strongly with anthropologists who have argued that condemnation of certain practices will render any efforts of communication insurmountable. Hence, I argue for modes of writing that neither condemns nor condones the practice. Consequently, I do not attempt to offer any ´solution´ to the complex question of change, and the thesis aims for an articulation of individual experiences and strategies for change.