Lead Author: EZEOKE Grace G.
Published by: African Health Sciences
Year published: 2021

Background: Despite collaborative efforts aimed at its eradication, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) continuesin endemic areas. Objective: To evaluate the experience and preparedness of female adolescents to protect their future daughters from FGM/C.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey involving adolescent secondary school girls in North Central Nigeria. Participants were secondary school students who completed the study’s self-administered questionnaire after informed parental or participant’s consent. Data management was with SPSS 20.0 (IBM, USA), P-value <0.05 was significant.

Results: There were 2000 participants aged 13-19 years (mean 15.56±1.75), prevalence of FGM/C was 35.0%, awareness was 86.1%, mutilation was performed between infancy and eight years of age (mean 3.85±3.24 years), 644(32.2%) desire to mutilatetheir future daughters, 722(36.1%) expressed support for FGM/C and 63.1% of victims of FM/C reported adverse post-mutilation experiences. Support for FGM/C was associated with low social class (P0.0010), opinion that FGM/C has benefit (P0.001) and desire to mutilate future daughters (P0.001) while awareness of efforts to eradicate FMG/C was 813(40.7%).

Conclusion: FGM/C remains prevalent with potential support for its continuation among female adolescents despite reported adverse post-mutilation experiences. The multi-pronged approach to eradicate FGM/C should prioritize re-orientation for adolescent girls, rehabilitation of mutilated girls and girl child formal education. Keywords: Female genital mutilation/cutting; female circumcision, harmful traditional practices, adverse childhood experiences.