Female circumcision in Nigeria and attitudes towards its discontinuation

Afr J Med Med Sci. 2015 Dec;44(4):343-54.

Female circumcision in Nigeria and attitudes towards its discontinuation.

Gbadebo BM, Afolabi RF, Adebowale AS


BACKGROUND: Female Circumcision (FC) is a harmful traditional practice and remains a public health problem particularly in the era of HIV/AIDS. Aside its numerous health implications, it can cause infertility, complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths. FC is widely practised in Nigeria. OBJECTIVE: The study assessed the level of FC, daughters’ circumcision and attitude towards discontinuation of the practice among women of reproductive age. METHODS: Data were extracted from the 2008 Nigeria Demographic Health and Survey. Data were analysed using Chi-square and binary logistic regression models (á = 0.05). RESULTS: Among the respondents, prevalence of FC was 49.2% with 30.6% having circumcised their daughters and 25.8% wishing the practice to continue. About 56% of circumcised women also circumcised their daughters whereas only 2.9% of uncircumcised women circumcised their daughters. Approximately 69.8% of women who had circumcised their daughters would like FC to continue compared to 8.8% of those who never circumcised any of their daughters. The likelihood of FC was higher (OR = 2.07; C.I = 1.85-2.30) among Moslems compare to Christians. Igbo women were less likely to discontinue FC compared to women of Hausa/Fulani ethnic group despite controlling for the confounding variables (OR = 0.57; C.I = 0.35-0.91). CONCLUSION: Female circumcision is still practiced in all parts of Nigeria and a high proportion of women reported that the practice should continue. There is need to intensify efforts on the campaign against female circumcision in Nigeria.