Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Female genital cutting: current practices and beliefs in western Africa

Heather L Sipsma, Peggy G Chen, Angela Ofori-Atta, Ukwuoma O Ilozumba, Kapouné Karfo & Elizabeth H Bradley

Volume 90, Number 2, February 2012, 120-127F

Table 3. Odds ratios (ORs) for having undergone female genital cutting (circumcision), by sociodemographic characteristics, for women surveyeda in 10 western African countries, 2005–2007

Characteristic Sierra Leone (n = 7 631)
OR (95% CI)
Gambia (n = 9 926)
OR (95% CI)
Burkina Faso (n = 7 199)
OR (95% CI)
Mauritania (n = 12 498)
OR (95% CI)
Guinea-Bissau (n = 7 882)
OR (95% CI)
Côte d'Ivoire (n = 12 707)
OR (95% CI)
Nigeria (n = 24 207)
OR (95% CI)
Togo (n = 6 189)
OR (95% CI)
Ghana (n = 5 881)
OR (95% CI)
Niger (n = 9 164)
OR (95% CI)
Age (years)
15–19 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
20–24 2.06**
(1.50–2.83)
0.83*
(0.70–0.98)
1.20
(0.93–1.54)
1.08
(0.93–1.25)
1.14
(0.83–1.57)
1.11
(0.92–1.33)
1.27**
(1.07–1.51)
1.47
(0.82–2.64)
1.25
(0.64–2.48)
1.03
(0.65–1.64)
25–29 2.15**
(1.52–3.05)
0.74**
(0.60–0.92)
1.30*
(1.03–1.63)
1.17
(0.97–1.41)
1.25
(0.82–1.90)
1.13
(0.91–1.40)
1.59**
(1.33–1.91)
2.66**
(1.44–4.91)
0.97
(0.48–1.96)
1.81*
(1.04–3.15)
30–34 2.29**
(1.57–3.32)
0.75*
(0.600.94)
1.73**
(1.40– 2.14)
1.17
(0.94–1.44)
0.95
(0.64–1.42)
1.25*
(1.00–1.55)
1.90**
(1.56–2.33)
3.37**
(1.90–6.00)
2.01
(0.89–4.54)
1.83*
(1.03–3.26)
35–39 2.89**
(1.83–4.57)
0.80
(0.63–1.01)
2.05**
(1.61–2.62)
1.24
(0.97–1.59)
1.46
(0.95–2.23)
1.25
(0.97–1.62)
2.20**
(1.82–2.67)
4.33**
(2.43–7.70)
2.05
(0.95–4.45)
2.61**
(1.41–4.82)
40–44 2.40**
(1.37–4.22)
0.65**
(0.50–0.83)
2.54**
(1.96–3.29)
1.35*
(1.06–1.71)
1.01
(0.63–1.63)
1.09
(0.83–1.42)
2.90**
(2.34–3.61)
5.20**
(2.76–9.77)
1.78
(0.78–4.03)
2.79**
(1.47–5.30)
45–49 2.15*
(1.18–3.92)
0.58**
(0.42–0.78)
2.34**
(1.75–3.12)
1.36*
(1.05–1.77)
1.17
(0.74–1.86)
1.07
(0.80–1.43)
4.41**
(3.48–5.58)
5.24**
(2.59–10.57)
2.70*
(1.16–6.28)
2.33*
(1.18–4.60)
Educational level
None 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Primary 0.52**
(0.38–0.71)
1.02
(0.75–1.38)
1.13
(0.93–1.37)
0.68**
(0.56–0.82)
0.52**
(0.39–0.71)
0.46**
(0.38–0.57)
3.75**
(3.17–4.45)
0.44**
(0.31–0.63)
0.56**
(0.39–0.81)
0.76
(0.40–1.45)
Beyond primary 0.44**
(0.33–0.60)
0.88
(0.72–1.07)
0.97
(0.62–1.53)
0.56**
(0.45–0.71)
0.20**
(0.11–0.34)
0.38**
(0.31–0.48)
3.85**
(3.19–4.64)
0.46**
(0.28–0.77)
0.21**
(0.12–0.35)
0.21**
(0.07–0.66)
Non-standard/Madrasab 1.17
(0.53– 2.58)
0.57**
(0.45, 0.72)
Marital status
Never married 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Currently married 3.53**
(2.63–4.73)
1.28*
(1.05–1.56)
1.55**
(1.26–1.92)
1.35**
(1.15–1.57)
0.86
(0.59–1.24)
2.04**
(1.68–2.47)
1.18*
(1.02–1.37)
2.35*
(1.24–4.47)
1.37
(0.69–2.72)
0.47*
(0.26–0.88)
Formerly married 3.49**
(2.14–5.69)
1.35
(0.99–1.84)
1.74**
(1.21–2.51)
1.25*
(1.03–1.52)
1.06
(0.64–1.77)
1.01
(0.82–1.25)
1.26
(0.99–1.61)
2.00
(0.98–4.08)
0.78
(0.34–1.80)
0.54
(0.19–1.50)
Wealth quintile
Lowest 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Second 0.44**
(0.27–0.73)
2.20**
(1.53–3.18)
1.35*
(1.06–1.71)
0.34**
(0.25–0.47)
1.55**
(1.20–2.01)
0.44**
(0.31–0.63)
2.03**
(1.58–2.62)
1.12
(0.71–1.75)
1.12
(0.69–1.82)
1.93*
(1.00–3.69)
Middle 0.54*
(0.32–0.94)
2.22**
(1.42–3.47)
0.96
(0.77–1.20)
0.13**
(0.10–0.19)
2.36**
(1.67–3.35)
0.41**
(0.27–0.62)
2.65**
(1.96–3.59)
0.89
(0.54–1.45)
0.47*
(0.25–0.87)
1.86
(0.75–4.59)
Fourth 0.34**
(0.20–0.59)
1.68*
(1.08–2.64)
1.60**
(1.22–2.08)
0.06**
(0.04–0.09)
2.31**
(1.61–3.31)
0.36**
(0.23–0.55)
4.11**
(3.08–5.49)
0.81
(0.47–1.40)
0.27**
(0.13–0.55)
5.87**
(3.15–10.94)
Highest 0.22**
(0.13–0.38)
0.74
(0.48–1.13)
1.66**
(1.22–2.25)
0.04**
(0.03–0.06)
1.11
(0.73–1.70)
0.26**
(0.17–0.41)
2.83**
(2.10–3.80)
0.40**
(0.22–0.72)
0.40*
(0.18–0.89)
3.04**
(1.42–6.51)
Religion
Non-Muslim 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Muslim 2.01**
(1.55–2.60)
16.56**
(11.09–24.73)
1.87**
(1.45–2.41)
NA 218.97**,c
(158.69–302.15)
7.22**
(5.49–9.50)
0.56**
(0.46–0.68)
26.90**
(18.01–40.18)
4.38**
(2.52–7.63)
0.03**
(0.01–0.12)

CI, confidence interval; NA, not available; *P < 0.05; **P < 0.01.

a In third round of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys.

b Non-standard education in Gambia and Madrasa education/Koranic school in Mauritania were included in the analysis due to the high percentages of women who selected these categories; as a result, education for Gambia and Mauritania was modelled as dummy variables instead of the ordinal sequence used for other countries.

c OR estimate is large due to low frequencies of non-Muslims having ever been circumcised and low frequencies of Muslims not having ever been circumcised.