Tag Archives: Behavior

The observable response a person makes to any situation.

The Applicability of Behaviour Change in Intervention Programmes Targeted at Ending Female Genital Mutilation in the EU: Integrating Social Cognitive and Community Level Approaches.

Obstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:324362. doi: 10.1155/2013/324362. Epub 2013 Jul 29. FREE

The Applicability of Behaviour Change in Intervention Programmes Targeted at Ending Female Genital Mutilation in the EU: Integrating Social Cognitive and Community Level Approaches.

Brown K, Beecham D, Barrett H.

Faculty of Business, Environment and Society, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK.


With increased migration, female genital mutilation (FGM) also referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting is no longer restricted to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The European Parliament estimates that up to half a million women living in the EU have been subjected to FGM, with a further 180,000 at risk. Aware of the limited success of campaigns addressing FGM, the World Health Organization recommended a behavioural change approach be implemented in order to end FGM. To date, however, little progress has been made in adopting a behaviour change approach in strategies aimed at ending FGM. Based on research undertaken as part of the EU’s Daphne III programme, which researched FGM intervention programmes linked to African communities in the EU (REPLACE), this paper argues that behaviour change has not been implemented due to a lack of understanding relating to the application of the two broad categories of behaviour change approach: individualistic decision-theoretic and community-change game-theoretic approaches, and how they may be integrated to aid our understanding and the development of future intervention strategies. We therefore discuss how these can be integrated and implemented using community-based participatory action research methods with affected communities.

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Female genital cutting. Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys.

Afr Popul Dev Bull. 1999 Jun-Jul:26-7.

Female genital cutting. Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys.

[No authors listed]

PIP: This article reports on the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Central African Republic (CAR), Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Mali, Tanzania and Yemen. Evidences from the Demographic and Health Surveys indicate that FGM is widely practiced in these countries. About 9 out of 10 women have had at least some part of their external genitalia removed in Egypt, Eritrea, Mali, and northern Sudan, while in Cote d’Ivoire and the CAR the practice is less common. A comparison of prevalence levels among age groups in women aged 15-49 years revealed little or no decline in FGM; however, the CAR displayed a slight, but continuous, decline in prevalence across age groups. Furthermore, educational level and religion were found to affect the prevalence rate. Also, the 1996 clinical study in Egypt found that more than 70% of the study population had at least part or all of their clitoris and labia minora excised. In Eritrea and Sudan, many women undergo infibulation, the most hazardous and extensive form of female genital cutting, which almost entirely closes off the vaginal opening. The study also showed that women who had undergone the operation had experienced adverse health effects like hemorrhage. Widespread and enduring support for FGM among women was noted in Egypt, Mali, and Sudan; only Eritrea appeared to have a critical mass of opposition to the procedure among the adult population, which suggests an openness to change.

No link found to consult this report online.

Views of women and men in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, on three forms of female genital modification

Reprod Health Matters. May 2010, 18(35):84-93

Views of women and men in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, on three forms of female genital modification

Jirovsky E


This paper is about how female circumcision/female genital mutilation (FC/FGM) was viewed by women and men aged 18–89 in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, now that it has been against the law for almost 15 years. The findings come from 11 months of field research, participant observation and interviews in 2008. The practice of FC/FGM was an important issue in Bobo-Dioulasso, even though prevalence seems to be falling. The most important argument for continuing it was not a traditional role, but the need to control female sexuality – regarded as very active – not to negate it, but to ensure morally acceptable behaviour. When I talked about female genital cosmetic surgery it emerged that Bobolaise women used various substances to enhance sexual pleasure for men, both to keep the relationship and to protect the gifts and money many women needed to survive and for their children. FC/FGM was seen as a socio-cultural obligation, necessary to achieve a respectable status. Other forms of genital modification were seen as a means of satisfying male sexual needs, though vaginal tightening to hide sexual experience was also a way of demonstrating respectability. What emerged overall is that Bobolaises had their own perspectives about all the forms of female genital modification that were discussed.

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When female circumcision comes to the West: Attitudes toward the practice among Somali Immigrants in Oslo.

BMC Public Health. 2012 Aug 27;12(1):697. [Epub ahead of print]

When female circumcision comes to the West: Attitudes toward the practice among Somali Immigrants in Oslo.

Gele AA Gele Aa, Johansen EB Johansen Eb, Huage MI Hauge Mi, Sundby J Sundby J.


BACKGROUND: Female circumcision (FC) has lifelong adverse social and health consequences for women, and its abolition will not only enhance the health of children and women, but also promote gender equality. Like many other Western countries, Norway hosts a large proportion of immigrants from FC-practicing countries, though primarily from Somalia, which is the country with the highest prevalence of FC in the world. A behavioral change by the practicing communities has the best chance to successfully and sustainably eliminate this practice. However, FC prevention programs require a behavioral surveillance that monitors the process of change, with this being the first quantitative study since the major migration of the Somali community to Norway began in 1991 to investigate whether or not Somali immigrants’ attitudes toward the practice has improved in favor of its abandonment.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was conducted in Oslo from April to June of 2011. A sample of 214 persons was interviewed, using structured questionnaires.

RESULTS: The results show that 70% of Somalis in Oslo support the discontinuation of all forms of FC compared to 30% who support its continuation, with the latter  group more likely to be people who lived in Norway [LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO] 4 years. Of the 10 girls who came to Norway at the age of [LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO] 7 years, only one was circumcised, though whether the circumcision occurred before  or after the girl’s arrival in Norway remains unclear. The perception that FC is  required by religion was the sole factor to be significantly associated with an ongoing support of FC.

CONCLUSION: The study reveals that Somalis in Oslo demonstrate a trend to abandon this practice over time. Nevertheless, the 30% of  the people who still support its continuation, and who are primarily newly arrived immigrants, require a targeted intervention that is implemented in the early phase of the immigrants’ arrival.

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Impact of a communication programme on female genital cutting in eastern Nigeria

Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Oct; 11(10):1594-1603

Impact of a communication programme on female genital cutting in eastern Nigeria

Babalola S, Brasington A, Agbasimalo A, Helland A, Nwanguma E, Onah N


Objectives  This study describes a female genital cutting (FGC) elimination communication programme in Enugu State and assesses its impact in changing relevant knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions.

Methods  The FGC programme combined a community mobilization component with targeted advocacy and mass media activities. Data for assessing the impact of the programme derived from baseline and follow-up surveys in three intervention local government areas (LGA) in Enugu State and three comparison LGAs in Ebonyi State. An ideation model of behaviour change guided the analyses of the impact of the programme on personal advocacy for FGC, perceived self-efficacy to refuse pressure to perform FGC, perceived social support for FGC discontinuation, perceived benefits of FGC, perceived health complications of FGC and intention not to perform FGC on daughters. The analytical methods include comparing change in pertinent outcome variables from baseline to follow-up in the two study states and using logistic regression on follow-up data for the intervention state to assess the link between programme exposure and the relevant outcome indicators.

Results  The data show that while the pertinent ideational factors and the intention not to perform FGC either worsened or remained stagnant in Ebonyi State, they improved significantly in Enugu State. The logistic regression results show that programme exposure is associated with the expected improvements in all the pertinent indicators.

Conclusion  The multimedia communication programme has been effective in changing FGC-related attitudes and promoting the intention not to perform FGC.

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6000 girls at risk every day. Female genital mutilation, although illegal, is still widely practiced.

Womens Health Newsl. 1993 Nov;(20):10-1.

6000 girls at risk every day. Female genital mutilation, although illegal, is still widely practiced.

Darkenoo E.


PIP: 6000 girls face the risk of genital mutilation daily. More than 100 million women worldwide have already undergone genital mutilation. It increases the risk of death during childbirth and of fetal death. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is forced on 1-day-to 18-year-old females (95% of all FGM cases). Most genitally mutilated females live in more than 20 countries in Africa, in some countries in the Middle East, and in a few countries in Asia. The governments do not condone FGM, however. The 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child calls on governments to abolish harmful traditional, social, and cultural practices. Migration has brought affected girls and women to Europe, Canada, the US, and Australia. About 1000 girls in these countries are at risk of genital mutilation. 10 social work departments in the UK have had to intervene in cases of suspected FGM. Another 18 departments think that it may be practiced in their communities. FGM predates Islam, and the Koran doe not refer to it; so, contrary to popular belief, FGM is not a religious requirement for Muslims. The underlying reason for FGM is the suppression and control of female sexuality. It is indeed one of the more extreme forms of female oppression. The UN Draft Convention on Violence against Women addresses FGM. Other international legal instruments are the UN Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the UN Children’s Convention. The European parliament calls on member countries to move against FGM. In 1985, the UK outlawed FGM. Minority black and marginalized women and girls are at greatest risk of FGM in the UK. All local UK authorities should have an antiracist and multicultural policy protecting girls from FGM and provide services addressing the special health needs of genitally mutilated women.

There is no link to view this article online.

Abuja declaration calls for action against hazardous traditional practices.

Newsl Inter Afr Comm Tradit Pract Affect Health Women Child. 1990 May;(9):13-4.

Abuja declaration calls for action against hazardous traditional practices.

[No authors listed]


PIP: The UN Economic Commission for Africa organized a conference in Abuja, Nigeria, last November to review the “Role of Women in Africa in the 1990s” as a follow-up of the “Arusha Strategies” of 1984. Among topics examined were harmful traditional practices, such as early marriage and pregnancy, female circumcision, nutritional taboos, inadequate child spacing and unprotected delivery, which are still found to be current realities in many African countries. These practices often inflict permanent physical, psychological, and emotional damage, even death, and little progress has been achieved in the abolition, the Declaration states. The lives of women in Africa are dominated by traditions. Certain attitudes, structures, and traditional practices, such as female circumcision and nutritional taboos that have harmful effects on the health of women and children, have rarely been officially surveyed. They have not been fully acknowledged by policy makers and opinion leaders, nor have effective steps to stop them been given precedence in health development planning. There is need for action at national as well as subregional and regional levels. Action at the national levels means that: national research institutes should undertake in-depth research on various traditional practices and their effects on women; functional literacy campaigns should sensitize parents and disseminate information on the harmful effects of circumcision, childhood marriage and early pregnancy; guidance and counseling should be provided to adolescent girls as well as to parents to make them understand the harmful physical, social, and mental effects of some traditional practices; religious leaders, traditional rulers, women’s organizational, professional bodies and others should act as pressure groups in promoting efforts against harmful practices through traditional and modern means of communication, dissemination of information, and other appropriate ways of communication; and legislative and administrative measures to eradicate harmful practices should be introduced and implemented urgently and expeditiously. At the subregional and regional levels: established subregional and regional structures should give priority attention in their development programs to the issues of female circumcision and other harmful traditional practices; action should be taken to ensure that women’s issues are addressed within national programs; and policies on data development by gender specifications should be advocated so as to make data more relevant and useful. [Full Text Modified]

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In Uganda, elders work with the UN to safeguard women’s health.

UN Chron. 1999;36(1):31.

In Uganda, elders work with the UN to safeguard women’s health.

Eliah E
This article reports on the 1998 UN population award that was given to Uganda’s Sabiny Elders Association (SEA) for its work in combatting female circumcision (FC) among the Sabiny people in Eastern Uganda’s Kapchorwa district. The elders aimed at documenting local history and preserving the rich cultural heritage of Sabiny society while promoting changes in various cultural traditions that were inconsistent with modern ways of living. They also aimed to promote education especially among girls, to protect the region’s environment and wildlife, and to develop its traditional medicine. Helping the victims of HIV/AIDS was a part of their goals. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) launched its REACH program in Kapchorwa to assist the Sabiny community in bringing about its own social change and to join with them in eliminating FC, in 1996. A more appropriate ritual for ushering a girl into womanhood is being contemplated.

There is no link to view this article online.