Lead Author: CHIDERA Emeordi
Published by: Journal of Tropical Diseases
Year published: 2018

Background: Female Genital Mutilation is the excision of any part of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 200 million girls and women have been mutilated around the world. This practise is strongly tied to different cultural traditions. FGM has called for international recognition due to its violation of human rights. Over the past decades, there have been deliberations by researchers concerning the practice of FGM. Some have tried to understand the perception behind the practise of FGM from a Cultural Relativism aspect while others perceive it from an Ethical Relativism perspective. The Nigeria Demographic Health Survey, estimated that the prevalence rate of FGM was 24.8% in 2013. Despite the interventions in place, there is still a persistence of FGM in Nigeria.

Objectives: 1) To Identify various contextual factors attributing to the persistence of FGM in Nigeria. 2) To recognise how these factors affect the Anti-FGM interventions in Nigeria. 3) To examine the attitudes and perception of the victims and other Nigerians towards FGM. Data Sources: Medline, PubMed, Google scholar, CINAHL, Web of Science, Science Direct, Scopus and Cochrane.

Review methodology: A Systematic Review was used to carry out this research. It was used because of its ability to include both quantitative and qualitative studies, and due to its hierarchy of evidence. A narrative analysis was equally used to describe the studies which were included in this review.

Results: Three studies had similar findings concerning the practice of FGM in Nigeria which includes traditions, easing of childbirth and better marriage prospect, while 3 other studies concluded that FGM prevents sexual promiscuity. On the other hand, the remaining 3 studies had a different findings which was either religion, lack of awareness of the bans towards FGM and the sociodemographic and economic factors.

Conclusion: The ban that has been placed against FGM is just one aspect pointing Nigeria towards the right direction, however, Interventions need to be established which should include the local community and their leaders to effect a change. More primary research needs to be conducted in various states in Nigeria to understand the impact and progress of this law. Innovative ways of engaging a greater proportion of the affected population are also necessary.