South African Family Practice

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Attitudes towards female genital cutting among pregnant women in Owo, Nigeria

CO Omolase, OO Akinsanya, BO Omolase


Background: This study aimed to determine the attitudes of pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria, towards female genital cutting.
Method: The study was conducted over a period of six months, between November 2010-April 2011, at the antenatal clinic of the hospital. Prior to commencement of this study, ethical clearance was obtained from the ethical review committee of the hospital. The respondents were interviewed by the authors and three trained research assistants, with the aid of a
questionnaire. The obtained data were collated and analysed with SPSS® 15.0.1 statistical software.
Results: Most respondents (72; 56.3%) had undergone female genital cutting. The majority (90; 70.3%) were aware of female genital cutting. Less than half supported discontinuation of female genital cutting (63; 49.2%) and legislation against it (57; 44.9%). A quarter of respondents (33; 25.8%) would allow their daughters to undergo female genital cutting.
Conclusion: The majority of the respondents had undergone female genital cutting, which was sometimes carried out by a medical practitioner. Less than half supported the discontinuation of female genital cutting and legislation against it. Medical practitioners should be prevented from performing female genital cutting.
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