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 4. Odds ratios (ORs) for having had at least one daughter undergo female genital cutting (circumcision), by sociodemographic characteristics, for women surveyed with at least one daughtera in 10 western African countries, 2005–2007

Characteristic Sierra Leone (n = 4 970)
OR (95% CI)
Gambia (n = 5 321)
OR (95% CI)
Burkina Faso (n = 4 518)
OR (95% CI)
Mauritania (n = 6 598)
OR (95% CI)
Guinea-Bissau (n = 4 706)
OR (95% CI)
Côte d'Ivoire (n = 5 791)
OR (95% CI)
Nigeria (n = 12 880)
OR (95% CI)
Togo (n = 3 431)
OR (95% CI)
Ghana (n = 3 099)
OR (95% CI)
Niger (n = 6 148)
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 0.90
(0.45–1.78)
1.25
(0.91–1.71)
1.86
(0.52–6.63)
1.55*
(1.11–2.17)
2.09**
(1.28–3.42)
1.16
(0.58–2.29)
0.72
(0.37–1.39)
Excludedb 0.78
(0.06–9.80)
Excludedc
25–29 2.21*
(1.19–4.10)
2.37**
(1.74–3.23)
4.54*
(1.38–14.90)
2.02**
(1.45–2.80)
4.66**
(2.90–7.49)
1.47
(0.78–2.80)
0.94
(0.52–1.71)
0.60
(0.06–6.06)
30–34 6.27**
(3.40–11.56)
3.86**
(2.74–5.43)
8.04**
(2.38–27.18)
2.00**
(1.41–2.83)
6.60**
(3.99–10.93)
2.67**
(1.47–4.83)
1.41
(0.76–2.61)
0.66
(0.09–5.10)
35–39 10.33**
(5.67–18.82)
4.84**
(3.37–6.93)
19.95**
(6.07–65.52)
2.54**
(1.80–3.57)
9.95**
(5.86–16.89)
4.60**
(2.30–9.20)
1.75
(0.95–3.23)
1.42
(0.17–11.66)
40–44 23.14**
(12.39–43.23)
4.89**
(3.44–6.94)
38.66**
(11.48–130.18)
2.67**
(1.84–3.88)
11.26**
(6.51–19.48)
6.59**
(3.43–12.63)
2.63**
(1.44–4.79)
1.22
(0.17–8.69)
45–49 29.78**
(15.90–55.78)
4.41**
(2.97–6.54)
45.51**
(13.72–150.90)
3.13**
(2.18–4.49)
12.23**
(6.92–21.62)
6.43**
(3.28–12.62)
3.38**
(1.85–6.16)
2.54
(0.36–18.10)
Educational level
None 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 Excludedb 1.00 1.00
Primary 0.80
(0.63–1.03)
0.79
(0.61–1.02)
1.06
(0.79–1.43)
0.60**
(0.49–0.72)
0.71*
(0.52–0.97)
0.44**
(0.32–0.61)
2.60**
(2.05–3.29)
0.47
(0.17–1.34)
0.51
(0.12–2.14)
Beyond primary 0.60**
(0.46–0.79)
0.48**
(0.39–0.59)
0.42**
(0.22–0.79)
0.39**
(0.30–, 0.51)
0.21**
(0.12–0.34)
0.34**
(0.15–0.77)
2.10**
(1.55–2.83)
0.18**
(0.05–0.67)
0.97
(0.26–3.71)
Non-standard/Madrasad 1.35
(0.73–2.49)
0.63**
(0.50–0.78)
Marital status
Never married 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 Excludedb Excludede Excludedc
Currently married 93
(0.54–1.60)
1.59
(1.00–2.54)
5.61
(0.76–41.42)
7.18**
(4.49–11.48)
1.97**
(1.21–3.18)
2.13**
(1.57–2.89)
0.92
(0.53–1.60)
Formerly married 1.18
(0.66–2.13)
1.39
(0.83–2.32)
4.83
(0.63–36.74)
5.66**
(3.47–9.24)
1.58
(0.85–2.94)
0.98
(0.67–1.43)
0.97
(0.52–1.79)
Wealth quintile
Lowest 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Second 0.94
(0.76–1.16)
1.74**
(1.31–2.30)
1.05
(0.82–1.33)
0.37**
(0.27–0.51)
1.00
(0.69–1.44)
0.57**
(0.39–0.82)
2.35**
(1.62–3.41)
1.18
(0.54–2.60)
1.31
(0.73–2.33)
1.57
(0.58–4.24)
Middle 1.10
(0.90–1.34)
1.77**
(1.26–2.50)
0.98
(0.72–1.32)
0.15**
(0.11–0.21)
0.90
(0.62–1.31)
0.55**
(0.38–0.80)
2.78**
(1.83–4.21)
0.44*
(0.20–0.94)
0.36
(0.11–1.16)
0.72
(0.22–2.38)
Fourth 0.94
(0.76–1.16)
1.62*
(1.12–2.35)
1.29
(0.96–1.73)
0.07**
(0.05–0.10)
0.87
(0.60–1.27)
0.33**
(0.22–0.49)
5.03**
(3.38–7.47)
0.33
(0.10–1.05)
0.36
(0.10–1.34)
3.07**
(1.33–7.06)
Highest 1.03
(0.80–1.34)
0.88
(0.62–1.26)
1.66**
(1.19–2.31)
0.03**
(0.03–0.05)
0.55**
(0.37–0.80)
0.20**
(0.13–0.30)
3.10**
(2.05–4.68)
0.14**
(0.03–0.58)
0.19
(0.03–1.31)
1.02
(0.30–3.51)
Religion
Non-Muslim 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Muslim 1.38**
(1.16–1.65)
17.20**
(9.70–30.51)
1.51**
(1.18–1.93)
NA 85.93**,f
(57.39–128.67)
3.92**
(2.83–5.42)
0.88
(0.67–1.15)
19.06**
(8.24–44.10)
4.31**
(2.18–8.50)
0.27**
(0.10–0.72)

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

a In third round of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys.

b In Togo, there were no women in the 15 to 19 age category, in the “never married” category, or in the “above primary” or “non-standard education” categories. Based on the likelihood ratio test (P < 0.05), we chose to exclude age, marital status and education level and present the better fitting, more parsimonious model.

c In Niger, there were no women in the 15 to 19 age category or in the “never married” category who had had at least one daughter cut. Based on the likelihood ratio test (P < 0.05), we chose to exclude both age and marital status and present the better fitting, more parsimonious model.

d 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.

e In Ghana, there were no women in the “never married” category who had had at least one daughter cut. Based on the likelihood ratio test (P < 0.05), we chose to exclude marital status and present the better fitting, more parsimonious model.

f OR estimate is large due to low frequencies of non-Muslims having been circumcised and low frequencies of Muslims having never been circumcised.