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Prevalence and associated factors of female genital cutting among young adult females in Jigjiga district, eastern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional mixed study

Authors Gebremariam K, Assefa D, Weldegebreal F

Received 21 April 2016

Accepted for publication 10 June 2016

Published 9 August 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 357—365


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Kidanu Gebremariam,1 Demeke Assefa,2 Fitsum Weldegebreal3

1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Mekelle University, Mekelle, 2Reproductive Health and Health Service Management, School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, 3Medical Laboratory Science, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia

Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and associated factors of female genital cutting (FGC) among young adult (10–24 years of age) females in Jigjiga district, eastern Ethiopia.
Methods: A school-based cross-sectional mixed method combining both quantitative and qualitative research methods was employed among 679 randomly selected young adult female students from Jigjiga district, Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia, from February to March 2014 to assess the prevalence and associated factors with FGC. A pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The qualitative data were collected using focus group discussion.
Results: This study depicted that the prevalence of FGC among the respondents was found to be 82.6%. The dominant form of FGC in this study was type I FGC, 265 (49.3%). The majority of the respondents, 575 (88.3%), had good knowledge toward the bad effects of FGC. Four hundred and seven (62.7%) study participants had positive attitude toward FGC discontinuation. Religion, residence, respondents’ educational level, maternal education, attitude, and belief in religious requirement were the most significant predictors of FGC. The possible reasons for FGC practice were to keep virginity, improve social acceptance, have better marriage prospects, religious approval, and have hygiene.
Conclusion: Despite girls’ knowledge and attitude toward the bad effects of FGC, the prevalence of FGC was still high. There should be a concerted effort among women, men, religious leaders, and other concerned bodies in understanding and clarifying the wrong attachment between the practice and religion through behavioral change communication and advocacy at all levels.

Keywords: female genital cutting, prevalence, Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia, young adult, Jigjiga

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