Factors Influencing The Practice Of Female Circumcision In West Africa

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2.2.4 Factors influencing the practice of FGM.
Different races and cultures have a variety of reasons for carrying out FGM. In West Africa, this may be related to different ethnic and tribal cultures, family relations, tribal connections, class, economic and social circumstances, and education etc. (Ahmadi &Amir, 2013). Amongst the factors that encourage families to circumcise their daughters is the family’s concern about the girl’s inability to marry if she is not circumcised (Dorkenoo, 1995).
Some indigenous Africans believe that circumcised girls might control their sexual desires accordingly after maturity and it protects them from sins and faults, while a great number of Africans also believe that women, who have not gone through circumcision in their childhood, face multiple physical problems at birth (Nzeagwu, 2005).
Female circumcision in West African countries also has a close relationship with the maturity ceremonies and celebrations which familiarize the girls with their responsibilities as future women of the society; and these ceremonies are cherished in West Africa – as they are usually accompanied with celebrations, coupled with dancing, singing
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The practice results into irreversible life-long risks for girls and women, at the operation, during menstruation, marriage, consummation and child birth. FGM is associated with physical, sexual and psychological complications. The WHO Fact Sheet states that FGM has no health benefits and it is harmful to girls and women in many ways. Although there are some who take the position that FGM as simply being a cultural practice, the mass of informed opinion (both in Africa and the West) is that FGM has many serious negative consequences and is incompatible with the development strategy based on full utilization of human potential. Indeed the practice entails serious risks and other social

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