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BENIN-TOGO: Can microcredit turn FGM/C cutters to new trades?

IRIN Africa News. A service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 26 Dec 2008.FREE

BENIN-TOGO: Can microcredit turn FGM/C cutters to new trades?


… TCHAMBA, 26 December 2008 (IRIN) – For years, the Togolese government and its NGO partners have been trying to convince women who perform female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) to trade in their knives for microcredit loans and agricultural equipment.

Despite a 10-year-old law in Togo that criminalises FGM/C some ethnic groups in Togo still report clandestine cuttings.

While the number of women reporting having undergone FGM/C in Togo has decreased by half since 1996 to seven percent of the population in 2008, according to a recent UN-funded government study, it is not clear what role income-generating activities have had in this drop…

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UNICEF Benin FGM/C Country Profile

UNICEF. Benin DHS. 2001.FREE




… While the prevalence of FGM/C among women aged 15-49 varies significantly according to ethnicity, 17% of the women in Benin have undergone some form of FGM/C. This decreases among women in the younger age groups (29 and under).  FGM/C varies significantly across regional and ethnic lines, averaging fewer than 2% in the southern regions of Atlantique, Mono Couffo, Plateau and Oueme, to 58% in Borgou. It is most prevalent among the Peulh (88%), Bariba (77%), and Yoa and Lokpa (72%), and lowest among the Fon (0.3%). FGM/C is not practiced by women of the Adja ethnic group. The prevalence of FGM/C varies significantly according to education as well – 22% of women with no formal schooling have been cut compared to 5% of women with secondary education….

This sheet can be accessed in this LINK

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Benin: Report on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC)

United States Department of State. 2001.FREE

Benin: Report on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC), 1 June 2001 



…The Benin chapter of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC) conducted a survey in 1992. It estimated that the percentage of women who have undergone this procedure is close to 30 percent. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the percentage is closer to 50 percent. However, this figure appears high to many locally based physicians and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The 1992 survey found that while Type II or excision is widely practiced, the practice is not uniformly distributed throughout the country. It occurs in the northern part of the country, particularly in the departments of Atacora, Borgou, Zou and Alibori. It also occurs in some communities in the southern coastal department of Oueme. The ethnic groups most affected are the Bariba, Peul, Boko, Baatonau, Wama and Nago. The Wama and the Peul (Fulani) ethnic groups perpetrate the practice in Atacora…

This report can be accessed in this LINK

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Female Genital Mutilation in Benin

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. FREE

Country Fact Sheet: Female Genital Mutilation in Benin



… According to the 2006 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), which assesses the health of the country‘s population, 13 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to FGM. This is a clear decline in numbers from the time of the 2001 survey, which showed an overall prevalence of nearly 17 per cent. The marked regional disparities in the prevalence of FGM are primarily the result of ethnic differences. The women most frequently cut are Bariba (74 per cent), followed by the Fulbe (72 per cent) and the Yoa and Lokpa (53 per cent)…

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Archives Blog Original research

Attitudes toward the discontinuation of female genital cutting among men and women in Guinea

Int J Gynecol Obstet. 2006;92(1):92–96.

Attitudes toward the discontinuation of female genital cutting among men and women in Guinea

Gage AJ, Van Rossem R


Objective. To investigate socioeconomic correlates of and gender differences in attitudinal support for the discontinuation of FGC in Guinea.

Method. Data from structured interviews of men aged 15–59 and women aged 15–49 years in the 1999 Demographic and Health Survey and multiple logistic regression methods were used to examine the relationship of socioeconomic factors and gender to attitudinal support for the discontinuation of FGC.

Result. More than 9 out of 10 women had undergone FGC. Attitudinal support for FGC discontinuation was more prevalent among men than women. The odds of supporting the discontinuation of FGC were negatively related to beliefs in social approval of and religious support for FGC and its enhancement of women’s marriageability, the number of perceived advantages of FGC, and women’s low socioeconomic status.

Conclusion. Community education, improvements in women’s socioeconomic status and traditional and religious leader involvement would be critical for FGC eradication.

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Female genital cutting: current practices and beliefs in western Africa

Bull World Health Organ vol.90 no.2 Genebra Feb. 2012

Female genital cutting: current practices and beliefs in western Africa

Heather L SipsmaI, Peggy G ChenI, Angela Ofori-AttaII, Ukwuoma O IlozumbaIII, Kapouné KarfoIV, Elizabeth H BradleyI

IDepartment of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, Yale University, 2 Church Street South, New Haven, CT 06519, United States of America (USA) 
IIDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana 
IIIHelen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, USA 
IVDepartment of Psychiatry, Ouagadougou University School of Medicine, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso



To conduct a cross-national comparative study of the prevalence and correlates of female genital cutting (FGC) practices and beliefs in western Africa.

METHODS: Data from women who responded to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys between 2005 and 2007 were used to estimate the frequencies of ever having been circumcised, having had a daughter circumcised, and believing that FGC practices should continue. Weighted logistic regression using data for each country was performed to determine the independent correlates of each outcome.


The prevalence of FGC was high overall but varied substantially across countries in western Africa. In Sierra Leone, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, the prevalence of FGC was 94%, 79%, 74% and 72%, respectively, whereas in Ghana, Niger and Togo prevalence was less than 6%. Older age and being Muslim were generally associated with increased odds of FGC, and higher education was associated with lower odds of FGC. The association between FGC and wealth varied considerably. Burkina Faso was the only country in our study that experienced a dramatic reduction in FGC prevalence from women (74%) to their daughters (25%); only 14.2% of the women surveyed in that country said that they believe the practice should continue.


The prevalence of FGC in western Africa remains high overall but varies substantially across countries. Given the broad range of experiences, successful strategies from countries where FGC is declining may provide useful examples for high-prevalence countries seeking to reduce their own FGC practices.

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