Lead Author: DALAL Koustuv
Published by: F1000Research
Year published: 2018

Background: The study’s aim is to examine adolescent girls’ attitudes toward the continuation or discontinuation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in association with their demographics in seven different countries in Africa.

Methods: Data from the women’s survey of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted by the respective ministries (of Health and Family Welfare) in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone were used. Adolescent girls (15–19 years) were included in the current analysis: Egypt (N=636), Guinea (N=1994), Kenya (N= 1767), Mali (N=2791), Niger (N=1835), Senegal (N=3604), Sierra Leone (N=1237).

Results: Prevalence of supporting the continuation of FGM among adolescent girls was in Egypt 58%, Guinea 63%, Kenya 16%, Mali 72%, Niger 3%, Senegal 23%, and Sierra Leone 52%. Being Muslim and having low economic status were significantly associated with supporting the continuation of FGM in five of the participating countries. Girls having no education or only primary education in Guinea, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone exhibited a higher likelihood of supporting FGM than girls with secondary or higher education. In Egypt, Niger and Senegal there was no association between education and supporting FGM. The girls who stated that they had no exposure to media showed the higher likelihood of supporting FGM in Guinea, Kenya, and Senegal than those with exposure to media.

Conclusions: The current study argues that increasing media coverage and education, and reducing poverty are of importance for shifting adolescent girls’ attitudes in favor of discontinuation of FGM.