Do educated women in Sierra Leone support discontinuation of female genital mutilation/cutting? Evidence from the 2013 Demographic and Health Survey

Ameyaw, Edward Kwabena, Yaya, Sanni, Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Baatiema, Linus, and Njue, Carolyne (2020) Do educated women in Sierra Leone support discontinuation of female genital mutilation/cutting? Evidence from the 2013 Demographic and Health Survey. Reproductive Health, 17. 174.

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Abstract

Introduction

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) comprises all procedures that involve the total or partial elimination of the external genitalia or any injury to the female genital organ for non-medical purposes. More than 200 million females have undergone the procedure globally, with a prevalence of 89.6% in Sierra Leone. Education is acknowledged as a fundamental strategy to end FGM/C. This study aims to assess women's educational attainment and how this impacts their views on whether FGM/C should be discontinued in Sierra Leone.

Methods

We used data from the 2013 Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey. A total of 15,228 women were included in the study. We carried out a descriptive analysis, followed by Binary Logistic Regression analyses. We presented the results of the Binary Logistic Regression as Crude Odds Ratios (COR) and Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Most of the women with formal education (65.5%) and 15.6% of those without formal education indicated that FGM/C should be discontinued. Similarly, 35% of those aged 15–19 indicated that FGM/C should be discontinued. Women with a higher education level had a higher likelihood of reporting that FGM/C should be discontinued [AOR 4.02; CI 3.00–5.41]. Christian women [AOR 1.72; CI 1.44–2.04], those who reported that FGM/C is not required by religion [AOR 8.68; CI 7.29–10.34], wealthier women [AOR 1.37; CI 1.03–1.83] and those residing in the western part of Sierra Leone [AOR 1.61; CI 1.16–2.23] were more likely to state that FGM/C should be discontinued. In contrast, women in union [AOR 0.75; CI 0.62–0.91], circumcised women [AOR 0.41; CI 0.33–0.52], residents of the northern region [AOR 0.63; CI 0.46–0.85] and women aged 45–49 [AOR 0.66; CI 0.48–0.89] were less likely to report that FGM/C should be discontinued in Sierra Leone.

Conclusion

This study supports the argument that education is crucial to end FGM/C. Age, religion and religious support for FGM/C, marital status, wealth status, region, place of residence, mothers' experience of FGM/C and having a daughter at home are key influences on the discontinuation of FGM/C in Sierra Leone. The study demonstrates the need to pay critical attention to uneducated women, older women and women who have been circumcised to help Sierra Leone end FGM/C and increase its prospects of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) three and five.

Item ID: 66618
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-4755
Keywords: Discontinue, Female genital mutilation/cutting, Reproductive health, Sierra Leone, Women
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 09 May 2021 22:46
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321599 Reproductive medicine not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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