Community-based survey on female genital excision in Faranah District, Guinea.

Abstract:

:This paper reports on a community-based study in 1999 of the beliefs and practices of people in Faranah District, Guinea regarding female genital excision (FGE). Semi-structured individual interviews and focus group discussions were carried out with women of reproductive age, older women, married men, community and religious leaders, traditional practitioners and health workers. The study found that FGE was being carried out on girls aged 6-14, mostly using a traditional knife and involving total excision of the clitoris and partial removal of the external genitals, in conjunction with instruction on how young women should behave when they are married. The practice is illegal under national laws but few people were aware of this. There was a tendency towards taking girls for medical care to avoid complications, and some people suggested that FGE should be done by medical professionals, but this was a minority. More than 60 per cent of respondents thought FGE was harmful to health and supported its abolition. Many more men than women took this view; women felt under pressure to maintain the tradition. To stop FGE, local organisations need to support a process of change within the community, including awareness-raising about the law and the negative health effects of FGE, promoting alternative ceremonies, educating practitioners and supporting education and improvements in the status of women.

journal_name

Reprod Health Matters

authors

Keita D,Blankhart D

doi

10.1016/s0968-8080(01)90100-4

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2001-11-01 00:00:00

pages

135-42

issue

18

eissn

0968-8080

issn

1460-9576

journal_volume

9

pub_type

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