Exploring the practice and attitude of circumcisers in the eradication of female genital mutilation/cutting
Background: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) remains a form of violence against women despite efforts aimed at its eradication.
Objectives: To explore the practice and attitude of circumcisers towards eradication of FGM/C.
Methods: A descriptive (pilot) study involving local circumcisers in Kwara State, Nigeria using interviewer-administered questionnaire; analysis was done using SPSS version 21.0 and p <0.05 was significant.
Results: There are 57 circumcisers including 36(63.2%) males, 49(86%) acquire the skill for circumcision as a family tradition, 3(5.3%) practice circumcision as sole occupation and 49(79%) derive higher average monthly income from other sources. Forty-two (73.7%) have a dedicated knife used for multiple clients, 44(77.2%) clean the instrument before use, 17(29.8%) wear protective gloves, 55(96.5%) apply substances to the wound mostly iodine 15(26.3%) and shea butter 11(19.3%) while 27(47.4%) have encountered complications previously. Among circumcisers, 44(77.2%) believe FGM/C prevent sexual promiscuity while 26(45.6%) think it is for culture/tradition. Thirty (52.6%) are aware of government activities to stop FGM/C, 53(93.0%) are willing to stop the act if support is provided in form of money to establish a trade 33(57.9%) or new employment 12(21.1%).
Conclusions: Circumcisers are willing to discontinue FGM/C if necessary support including vocational skill acquisition, credit facilities to start a trade or new employments are provided. Efforts should be expedited to support their rehabilitation to achieve the eradication.
Keywords: Female genital mutilation, Female circumcision, Circumcisers, Violence against women