Published by: PLoS ONE
Year published: 2021

Despite a total prohibition on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), young girls continue to be victims in some African countries. There is a paucity of data on the effect of FGM practice in two generations in Africa. This study assessed the current practice of daughters’ FGM among women living in 14 FGM-prone countries in Africa as a proxy to assess the future burden of FGM in the continent. We used Demographic and Health Surveys data collected between 2010 and 2018 from 14 African countries. We analyzed information on 93,063 women-daughter pair (Level 1) from 8,396 communities (Level 2) from the 14 countries (Level 3). We fitted hierarchical multivariable binomial logistic regression models using the MLWin 3.03 module in Stata version 16 at p<0.05. The overall prevalence of FGM among mothers and their daughters was 60.0% and 21.7%, respectively, corresponding to 63.8% reduction in the mother-daughter ratio of FGM. The prevalence of FGM among daughters in Togo and Tanzania were less than one per cent, 48.6% in Guinea, with the highest prevalence of 78.3% found in Mali. The percentage reduction in mother-daughter FGM ratio was highest in Tanzania (96.7%) and Togo (94.2%), compared with 10.0% in Niger, 15.0% in Nigeria and 15.9% in Mali. Prevalence of daughters’ FGM among women with and without FGM was 34.0% and 3.1% respectively. The risk of mothers having FGM for their daughters was significantly associated with maternal age, educational status, religion, household wealth quintiles, place of residence, community unemployment and community poverty. The country and community where the women lived explained about 57% and 42% of the total variation in FGM procurement for daughters. Procurement of FGM for the daughters of the present generation of mothers in Africa is common, mainly, among those from low social, poorer, rural and less educated women. We advocate for more context-specific studies to fully assess the role of each of the identified risk factors and design sustainable intervention towards the elimination of FGM in Africa.