3 Communities In Africa That Still Conduct The Dehumanizing Practice Of Female Genital Mutilation

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Female genital mutilation is another barbaric cultural practice of so many African communities which was mostly practiced in the olden days but is still being carried on today. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting is a procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, which leads several health conditions such as infertility, infections and even death.  This harmful tradition was often considered an essential part of raising a girl properly, a requirement for marriage and necessary to control women’s sexuality in Africa. It has been recognized by the international community as a violation of the human rights of girls and women but is still known to be carried out on newborn female children in many African homes.

Today, the national prevalence rate of FGM is 41% among adult women with evidence showing that the prevalence of FGM is declining. However, the continuing strong prevalence of FGM in Africa is a major cause of concern which shows that it is not declining enough within the continent, with its prevalence ranging from 91% in Egypt to 74% in Ethiopia, 89% of women in Mali and 76% in Burkina Faso and Kenya at 27%, which are just part of the many other African countries with communities who practice the act.

The ongoing mission to eradicate FGM is driven by the World Health Organization, United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, Federation of International Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO), African Union, The economic commission for Africa, and many women organizations. Twenty-five African countries have legistlations/decrees against FGM, namely;  Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan (some states), Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, and  Gambia.

However, its complete eradication can not successfully occur without the total prohibition of the practice all around African countries both from religions and traditions.  The Federal and State governments in African countries need to not just enact the laws and sanctions against the practice of FGM but to device effectice measures to implement these laws and sanctions to put a stop to this evil practice. Below are 3 African communities who are still known to practice FGM stemmed from culture, tradition or religion, despite being banned in their countries:

  1. The south-western communities in Osun and Oyo states are known to have the highest prevalence of FGM, Ekiti state, and the eastern communities within Ebonyi and Imo state.
  2. The Somalian, Hadiya, and Afar communities in Ethiopia are known to still have the highest prevalence of FGM within the country.
  3. Communities in Gambia such as Sarahule known to have the highest prevalence,  following Mandinka, Djola, Serer, and Wolof.

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