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Spatial risk factors of female genital mutilation in Nigeria

Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala, University of Warwick
Lupwana Kandala, LUCIO
Ngozi M Nwakeze, University of Lagos

The harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) to women are recognised worldwide. Laws and campaigns against the practice have not eliminated this human rights violation. While it is practiced by people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, there are differences within country and between communities. The aim of this study is to use the 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey data to disentangle the spatial variation of the prevalence of FGM and the associated risk factors. Data were available on 7620 women. 1673 (22.0%) of women interviewed had had FGM. 2168 women had daughters of whom 485 (22.4%) had a daughter with FGM. Factors associated with FGM are varied and complex. Younger women and those from specific groups and religions are less likely to have had FGM. Policies should capitalize on secular trends. Religious leaders should be involved in continuing programmes of action. Making FGM illegal may have hampered reporting.

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Presented in Session 121: Vulnerability, health and human Rights