Trends and protective factors of female genital mutilation in Burkina Faso: 1999 to 2010

Int J Equity Health. 2015 May 8;14(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12939-015-0171-1. FREE

Trends and protective factors of female genital mutilation in Burkina Faso: 1999 to 2010.

Chikhungu LC, Madise NJ


BACKGROUND: The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is common in several African countries and some parts of Asia. This practice is not only a violation of human rights, but also puts women at risk of adverse health outcomes. This paper analysed the trends in the prevalence of FGM in Burkina Faso and investigated factors that are associated with this practice following the enactment of an FGM law in 1996.

METHODS: The study used the Burkina Faso Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data sets from women aged 15 to 49 years undertaken in 1999, 2003 and 2010. Chi square tests were carried out to investigate whether there has been a change in the levels of FGM in Burkina Faso between 1999 and 2010 and multilevel logistic regression analysis were employed to identify factors that were significantly associated with undergoing FGM.

RESULTS: The levels of FGM in Burkina Faso declined significantly from 83.6% in 1999 to 76.1% in 2010. The percentage of women circumcised between the ages of 0 to 5 years increased from 34.2% in 1999 to 69% in 2010. Significantly more women in 2010 than in 1999 were of the opinion that FGM should stop (90.6% versus 75.1%, respectively). In 2010, the odds of getting circumcised were lowest amongst women that were born in the period 1990 to 1995 (immediately before the FGM law was enacted) compared to women born in the period 1960-1965 [OR 0.16 (0.13,0.20)]. There was significant variation of FGM across communities. Other factors that were significantly associated with being circumcised were education level, religion, ethnicity, urban residence and age at marriage.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the prevalence of FGM has declined in Burkina Faso, the levels are still high. In order to tackle the practice of FGM in Burkina Faso, the government of Burkina Faso and its development partners need to encourage girls’ participation in education and target its sensitization campaigns against FGM towards Muslim women, women residing in rural areas and women of Mossi ethnic background.

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