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Female genital mutilation: a multi-country study
Authors: Koustuv Dalal, Ming-Shinn Lee, Gainel Ussatayeva, and Mervyn Gifford
Source: Health MED: Journal of Society for development in new net environment in B&H, 9(4): 161
Topic(s): Female genital cutting (FGC)
Country: Africa
  Sierra Leone
  Multiple African Countries
Published: APR 2015
Abstract: Objective: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a major women’s health problem and human right violation. FGM has several physical and psychological consequences. The focus of the current study is the extent of FGM, the association of demographic and economic factors with FGM and women’s beliefs and attitudes towards FGM in Egypt, Guinea, Mali and Sierra Leone. Methods: The study used national representative, cross-sectional, household sample surveys with large sample of women of reproductive age (15 – 49 years) from each country. Multi stage cluster sampling and face-to-face interviews were used. It was cross-sectional analysis, using DHS data. Cross tabulation, multivariate analyses and bar-diagram were used. Results: In Egypt 94%, in Guinea 97%, in Mali 89% and in Sierra Leone, 91%) women had genital mutilation. The majority of the respondents believe that FGM that FGM is socially acceptable and a religious obligation. Majority of the respondents believe that FGM helps to maintain virginity and that it leads to better marriage prospects and the prevention of adultery. Conclusions: The majority of women in the four countries argued in favor for the continuation of FGM. There is an inverse relationship between FGM and higher education and affluence. Proper policies and awareness generation among less educated and less affluent women in rural areas are warranted in an attempt to reduce FGM. Key words: Female circumcision, Genital mutilation/ cutting, Egypt, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone.