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Impact of the complete ban on female genital cutting on the attitude of educated women from Upper Egypt toward the practice

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Mar;120(3):275-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.10.010. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Impact of the complete ban on female genital cutting on the attitude of educated women from Upper Egypt toward the practice.

Hassanin IM, Shaaban OM.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC) before and 5 years after the law completely banned the practice in Egypt, and evaluate the attitude of educated mothers of girls toward FGC in Upper Egypt.

METHODS: All women attending 2 outpatient clinics in Upper Egypt were approached from January 1 through November 30, 2011. A trained nurse interviewed those who had daughters, and factors influencing their attitude toward FGC were evaluated. The participants in a previous study done in the same locality acted a historical comparison group.

RESULTS: The percentage of women who had FGC performed on at least 1 daughter was significantly lower in 2011 than in 2006 (71.6% vs 77.8%, P=0.04). The main reason for performing FGC, given by 42.6% of the participants, was family pressure. The percentage of FGC procedures practiced by physicians was significantly lower in 2011 than it was in 2006 (34.6% vs 39.3%, P=0.04).

CONCLUSION: The decrease in prevalence of FGC after its complete ban was small after 5 years, with little change in attitude among educated families in Upper Egypt. In addition to the current law, a change in attitude will be needed to wipe out this custom.

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