The observation that about 90% of Eritrean women were circumcised in 2002 increased interest to understand the trends, determinants, and consequences of female genital cutting (FGC). The study used data from the 2002 EDHS and the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Survey to consider factors that influence the likelihood that women would circumcise their daughter, and attitudes toward this practice. Findings suggest that although cohort-specific prevalence of genital cutting is lower among younger cohorts of women than among older ones, the practice remains nearly universal, particularly in regions or ethnic groups where the most severe form (infibulation) is practiced. Women’s education, urban residence, and household economic status have significant negative impact on circumcising a daughter and attitudes toward FGC continuation, suggesting that modernization has influence on FGC. The findings that education negatively affects attitudes toward FGC suggest that the impact of education could also be through its influence on the social convention. Increased access to higher education and economic opportunities, and urban residence would help lower support for the practice and hence its eradication. Community-based educational campaigns publicizing the risks of female genital cutting would also be helpful.


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pp. 1-29
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