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Factors that facilitate and strategies that can curb female genital mutilation: An integrative review

Kamal A. Odunjo-Saka
Benjamin Oluwabunmi Omolayo
Grace Mobolaji Olasupo
Jones-Esan Larry


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a serious and disturbing health concern across the world. This study aims to examine and explore factors that could  prevent or promote efforts targeted toward the elimination of FGM in all the places where this harmful practice persists. In the last three decades, several  attempts have been put in place by several international and national health-related organizations (such as UNICEF. WHO, USAID, and federal  ministries of health) to end the practice. Apart from the normal community-based sensitization and stakeholders' engagement on the harmful effects of  FGM, many countries like Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda have instituted bans on female genital mutilation by criminalizing the practice, as part of  the efforts to eliminate this inhumane practice. Though the general knowledge, attitudes, and awareness about the practice have changed over time,  there is evidence of collective abandonment of FGM in some local communities. The prevalence of FGM is falling slowly in most countries and the practice  has sluggishly declined in some places like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Kenya. Nonetheless, the current underlying population growth in  most of the affected countries has constituted an additional challenge toward a timely eradication of female genital mutilation. Hence, a comprehensive  understanding of effective strategies that could speedily eliminate female genital mutilation becomes a top priority to achieve the United Nations  Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating FGM by the year 2030. Therefore, through an in-depth integrative review, this study explores some factors  that are considered capable of facilitating the timely eradication of FGM. The findings of this study show that culture, religion, illiteracy, and sexual control  are the key factors that promote the practice of FGM in most societies where the practice persists. The study, therefore, recommends key  strategies that could speedily facilitate the effective elimination of FGM. It is also suggested that adequate attention should be given to the emerging  female adolescents, who technically constitute the age group that is responsible for future reproduction and national population growth, and this  developmental status places them in a crucial position that offers them a unique opportunity to diligently and collectively discontinue this evil practice in  their communities.

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eISSN: 1596-9231