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 5. Odds ratios (ORs) for believing the practice of female genital cutting (FGC) should continue,a by sociodemographic characteristics, for women who had heard of FGC in surveyb in 10 western African countries, 2005–2007

Characteristic Sierra Leone (n = 7 380)
OR (95% CI)
Gambia (n = 9 770)
OR (95% CI)
Burkina Faso (n = 6 644)
OR (95% CI)
Mauritania (n = 11 392)
OR (95% CI)
Guinea-Bissau (n = 6 990)
OR (95% CI)
Côte d'Ivoire (n = 10 559)
OR (95% CI)
Nigeria (n = 12 706)
OR (95% CI)
Togo (n = 4 528)
OR (95% CI)
Ghana (n = 4 052)
OR (95% CI)
Niger (n = 2 979)
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
(0.70–1.15)
0.78**
(0.65–0.93)
0.80
(0.53–1.20)
0.86
(0.74–1.01)
0.80
(0.63–1.00)
0.75**
(0.62–0.92)
0.94
(0.79–1.12)
0.80
(0.51–1.25)
0.72
(0.34–1.49)
0.80
(0.43–1.51)
25–29 0.92
(0.70–1.22)
0.70**
(0.58–0.84)
0.59**
(0.43–0.80)
0.93
(0.79 –1.11)
0.88
(0.66–1.18)
0.62**
(0.51 –0.76)
0.88
(0.73–1.05)
0.97
(0.61–1.56)
1.22
(0.59–2.53)
0.88
(0.43–1.79)
30–34 1.06
(0.77–1.45)
0.67**
(0.54–0.83)
0.49**
(0.34–0.71)
0.78**
(0.65–0.94)
0.85
(0.65–1.13)
0.73**
(0.59–0.91)
0.79*
(0.63–0.97)
0.87
(0.53–1.44)
0.98
(0.42–2.27)
0.77
(0.39–1.51)
35–39 1.15
(0.85–1.55)
0.65**
(0.52–0.82)
0.66*
(0.47–0.92)
0.78*
(0.64–0.94)
1.20
(0.89–1.62)
0.73**
(0.58–0.92)
0.87
(0.70–1.08)
0.93
(0.58–1.48)
0.53
(0.23–1.22)
0.97
(0.45–2.12)
40–44 1.31
(0.89–1.94)
0.56**
(0.44–0.72)
0.60**
(0.42–0.86)
0.77*
(0.62–0.95)
1.01
(0.75–1.37)
0.71**
(0.56–0.91)
0.97
(0.77–1.23)
1.02
(0.60–1.75)
0.85
(0.37–1.97)
0.78
(0.34–1.81)
45–49 1.85**
(1.17–2.93)
0.56**
(0.42–0.76)
0.61*
(0.42–0.89)
0.77*
(0.62–0.97)
0.91
(0.65–1.29)
0.81
(0.60–1.10)
1.22
(0.94–1.57)
1.27
(0.74–2.18)
0.32*
(0.13–0.84)
1.44
(0.67–3.10)
Educational level
None 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Primary 0.79
(0.63–1.01)
0.74*
(0.58–0.95)
0.89
(0.70–1.13)
0.58**
(0.50–0.68)
0.43**
(0.36–0.52)
0.46**
(0.39–0.56)
1.40**
(1.15–1.69)
0.80
(0.59–1.09)
0.56*
(0.31–0.99)
0.45**
(0.25–0.80)
Above primary 0.34**
(0.27–0.42)
0.50**
(0.42–0.60)
0.17**
(0.11–0.26)
0.36**
(0.30–0.43)
0.21**
(0.16–0.28)
0.22**
(0.17–0.28)
1.31**
(1.08–1.59)
0.50**
(0.35–0.71)
0.62
(0.38–1.04)
0.25**
(0.11–0.59)
Non-standard/Madrasab 0.91
(0.44–1.88)
0.76**
(0.64–0.91)
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 1.44**
(1.12–1.84)
1.31**
(1.09–1.56)
1.03
(0.53–1.99)
1.23**
(1.06–1.42)
1.45**
(1.13–1.86)
1.93**
(1.58–2.37)
1.14
(0.95–1.35)
1.62*
(1.04–2.51)
1.80
(0.96–3.37)
0.62
(0.32–1.20)
Formerly married 1.12
(0.81–1.54)
0.98
(0.75–1.29)
0.76
(0.36–1.63)
1.10
(0.92–1.32)
1.18
(0.85–1.64)
1.02
(0.81–1.28)
1.14
(0.87–1.50)
1.26
(0.69–2.32)
0.96
(0.46–2.01)
0.25**
(0.09–0.67)
Wealth quintile
Lowest 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Second 0.63
(0.38–1.03)
1.60**
(1.13–2.26)
0.63**
(0.47–0.83)
0.50**
(0.38–0.65)
1.01
(0.79–1.28)
0.60**
(0.46–0.78)
1.12
(0.85–1.48)
0.62**
(0.44–0.87)
0.74
(0.43–1.27)
0.85
(0.50–1.44)
Middle 0.39**
(0.24–0.64)
1.52
(1.00–2.32)
0.84
(0.64–1.11)
0.23**
(0.18–0.30)
0.86
(0.66–1.12)
0.51**
(0.38–0.69)
1.13
(0.84–1.53)
0.57*
(0.37–0.88)
0.65
(0.36–1.17)
0.72
(0.42–1.21)
Fourth 0.20**
(0.12–0.32)
0.93
(0.61–1.40)
0.76
(0.55–1.05)
0.12**
(0.09–0.15)
0.63**
(0.48–0.82)
0.40**
(0.29–0.56)
1.26
(0.94–1.70)
0.45**
(0.30–0.70)
0.34**
(0.18–0.64)
0.63
(0.37–1.08)
Highest 0.15**
(0.09–0.24)
0.38**
(0.26–0.56)
0.86
(0.65–1.13)
0.06**
(0.05–0.08)
0.33**
(0.24–0.43)
0.24**
(0.17–0.34)
0.79
(0.58–1.07)
0.47**
(0.30–0.73)
0.22**
(0.11–0.43)
0.53*
(0.31–0.93)
Religion
Non-Muslim 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Muslim 1.60**
(1.29–1.97)
16.92**
(10.75–26.64)
1.75**
(1.39–2.20)
NA 17.42**
(13.82–21.96)
3.12**
(2.50–3.89)
1.33**
(1.11–1.61)
0.92
(0.68–1.25)
0.99
(0.59–1.68)
0.62
(0.30–1.29)

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

a “Believing the practice should continue” includes both yes and depends responses.

b Third round of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys.

c 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.