Published by: East African Health Research Journal
Year published: 2023



Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is a harmful traditional practice with severe health complications, deeply rooted in many sub-Saharan African countries. In Kenya, the prevalence of FGM/C is 15% in women aged between 15 and 49 years. The Kenyan Somalis practice FGM/C with a prevalence above 90%. FGM/C practice continues to persist in Alungu village, Mandera County in the North Eastern of Kenya despite efforts by anti-FGM programs. However, the underlying factors behind FGM practice in the area have not been explored.


To assess factors contributing to female genital mutilation practice among women living in Alungu village of Mandera County, Kenya.

Methods and materials

This study utilised a descriptive cross sectional design. The study population was women of reproductive age (from 18 to 49 years) who resided in Alungu village in Mandera County, Kenya. A study sample of 98 women was selected using simple random sampling technique. Data was collected using a researcher-administered questionnaire and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS).


Most of the respondents were aged 35 – 44 (45.8%), married (100%), had no formal education (74.7%) and had no formal employment (89.2%). All participants agreed that traditional beliefs, customs and rite of passage to womanhood contributed to FGM, 90.4% of the participants acknowledged that FGM is a symbol of ethnic identity and inclusivity. Factors affecting prevention of and response to FGM were low involvement of women in anti-FGM programs (91.6%); support for FGM by local leaders and elders (100%); failure by authorities to take action against those perpetuating FGM (100%); indifference to FGM practice continuation among local religious and political leaders (96.4%) and poor enforcement of existing laws against FGM (100%).


A wide range of socio-cultural factors did contribute to FGM practice among women living in Alungu village, Mandera County.