Female Genital Mutilation in Ethiopia: Health and Human Right Issue

Solomon Masho Atomsa, M.V.R. Raju


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a traditional practice performed in different parts of the world, although the type and its prevalence may be different, affecting the wellbeing of millions of women and children. As tradition is interwoven into the identity of a given community, ending any traditional practice is possible only when the practicing community really understands the need for change and be committed for the same. The objective of this article was to assess the knowledge level of people in Gindeberet District of Oromia Regional State (Ethiopia) regarding the negative health effects of FGM on women and children and also its being violation of their human right. The study also aimed at identifying risk factors associated with the practice of FGM in the study area. Differences in level of awareness based on educational level and personal accounts of females who were subjected to FGM were also examined. Sample for the study included 148 residents of four villages of Gindeberet district, 208 grade 12 students and community opinion leaders of the selected villages. The study shows that (76.96%) and (65.74%) of the participants were aware that FGM affects the health of women and violates their human rights respectively. Educational level is found to be associated with awareness about the fact that FGM affects the health of women and children and violates their human rights. In the study area, single instrument is used on multiple girls for mutilation and the material used to do the procedure is not properly sterilized, hence increasing the chance of the victims to contract infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS. Great majority of female participants who were subjected to the practice indicated that they have negative feelings associated with the procedure.

Key words: - Female Genital Mutilation, Traditional practice, Human right, Health, Ethiopia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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