Back to browse results
No relationship found between female genital cutting and intimate partner violence across six sub-Saharan African countries
Authors: Janet A Howard, Mhairi A Gibson
Source: Global Public Health, DOI:10.1080/17441692.2021.1991974
Topic(s): Female genital cutting (FGC)
Gender-based violence (GBV)
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
  Cote D'Ivoire
Published: NOV 2021
Abstract: Female genital cutting (FGC) and intimate partner violence (IPV) are highly prevalent forms of violence against women, and the UN has encouraged strengthening policy linkages between FGC and IPV programme work (UN Women, Female genital mutilation/cutting and violence against women and girls. Strengthening the policy linkages between different forms of violence. UN Women, 2017a). However few studies have examined the relationship between these behaviours. This study addresses two research gaps identified by the UN; (a) whether women with FGC are more likely to experience physical or sexual IPV, and (b) whether women's IPV experiences are associated with their support for FGC. Multilevel multivariate logistic regression models were run using Demographic and Health Survey data from 6 sub-Saharan African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria, n33,170). Our results show no association between FGC and IPV. Women with FGC are not at greater risk of experiencing IPV, and women who experienced IPV in the preceding year are not more likely to support FGC. Further, the importance of individual and community factors differ; IPV experience is influenced by individual factors, whereas FGC support is more influenced by ethnic group characteristics. Although the proposition that FGC and IPV could be tackled collaboratively is attractive for policy makers, these results are important because they indicate that eradication programmes will be more effective when targeted at specific behaviours.