Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting among Ghanaian Women: The Determinants

Michael Ofori Fosu, Ir. Peter Romeo Nyarko, Martin Anokye


This study examines female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM) among Ghanaian women and the determining factors associated with the practice. We used a data set based on a longitudinal study from the fourth round Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS). This was a national survey conducted by Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in 2011 to monitor progress of women and children. A sample of 10,963 women within the reproductive age (15 – 49) years across the country between 2009 and 2011 were selected for the survey.

A multiple logistic regression and bootstrap techniques were used to determine the relationship of socio-demographic factors and female circumcision. The estimated women who had undergone female circumcision was about 15.9% out of the 7666 women who responded to the question on female circumcision. This means that about 2 out of 10 women between 15 – 49 years have undergone circumcision. Female circumcision is very predominant among women in the Upper West region, Moslems and the Mole/Dagbanis. The factors observed to be highly significantly associated with female circumcision among Ghanaian women included marital status (p-value = 0.000), woman’s age (p-value = 0.000), region of residence (p-value = 0.000), educational level (p-value = 0.001), religion (p-value = 0.002) and ethnicity (p-value = 0.002). The results show that prevalence of FGM among more advantaged women is lower than less advantaged women. The findings further reveal that women from the northern part of Ghana are more prone to FGM than women who live elsewhere.

Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, Reproductive age, Prevalence, Endemic

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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