Background of the Study
Female genital cutting (FGC) or female circumcision according to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO 2015), comprises of all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons and does not include medically prescribed surgery or that which is performed for sex change reasons. It is practiced in more than 20 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and within immigrant populations throughout the world with prevalence rates ranging from 5-99%. Its practice can be found among all religious, ethnic and cultural groups and across all socio-economic classes. It is estimated that up to 130 million women and girls have already been subjected to some form of female genital mutilation (cutting) and two million more are expected to experience it each year. (WHO,2015).
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also known as Female Circumcision (FC), or Female Genital Cutting (FGC), is a universal practice that results in many health-related and life threatening complications. It also has other physical and psychological effects that do great harm to the wellbeing of women and children who have had it performed on them. In the countries where most or a larger number of women have been mutilated, the medical complications that results from these practices, place a heavy burden on the health services of these countries (Edna,2015).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified four types of female genital mutilation. Type1 also called Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris and or the prepuce.Type2 also called Excision: is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labial minora, with or without excision of the labial majora.
Type3 also called Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal orifice with a covering seal. Type 4:implies all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping or cauterization.
The origin of the practice is unclear. It predates the rise of Christianity and Islam. It is said that some Egyptian mummies displays some characteristics of female genital mutilation. The practice of female genital mutilation can be found in some communities around the world. In Africa, female genital mutilation is known to be practiced among certain communities in 29 countries. It is usually carried out by elderly people in the community (usually, but not exclusively, women) designated to perform this task or by traditional birth attendants. Among certain populations, female genital mutilation may be carried out by traditional health practitioners, (male) barbers,members of secret societies, herbalists or sometimes a female relative. (Denison,2014).
In some cases, medical professionals perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This is referred to as the “medicalization” of FGM. (WHO,2015).
Many reasons have been ascribed to the practice of female circumcision such as reducing the rate of prostitution, cleansing, familyhonour, expedite delivery, prevent dyspareunia and project true femininity (Dorkenoo, 2015). Quite a good number of complicationshave been identified to associate with female genital cutting both immediate and later, and a few to mention are: bleeding, infection, vulva oedema,urethral obstruction and perineal laceration during delivery, (Bradley, 2014). The trend to which the practice of female genital cutting is being uphold unto, calls for the need to investigate the motivations for the practice.
Statement of the Problem
Female genital cutting (FGC) is one of the harmful traditional practices the World Health Organization (WHO) has tried to eradicate all over the world. The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO’s) in Nigeria has also tried to eradicate this harmful practice of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) due to its ill effect on child- bearing as well as the physical, psychological and emotional trauma it has on children who has undergone it. The European Parliament Resolution of 14 June 2012 focused on ending female genital cutting and the Human Rights Council Resolution of 2014 also focused on calling for “intensifying global efforts and sharing good practices, to effectively eliminate female genital cutting”. Despite all these efforts, it is noticed that some parts of AkwaIbom State of which IkotAkpanNya Community is one of them still pay obedience to this harmful practice. Based on the above and sheer curiosity, the researcher was motivated to assess those factors militating against eradication of female genital cutting in IkotAkpanNya,Ibesikpo-asutan Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State.
Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to assess those factors militating against eradication of female genital cutting in IkotAkpanNyacommunity.
Specific Objectives Include to:
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study was to assess those factors militating against eradication of female genital cutting among child-bearing women in IkotAkpanNya,Ibesikpo-asutan Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State. The study covered all women of child bearing age of 15-49 years in IkotAkpanNya irrespective of their native, marital status, religion and level of education.
Operational Definition of Terms
Factors: refers to those things that influences the eradication of female genital cutting
Eradication: getting rid of the practice (female genital cutting).
Female Genital Cutting: a collective name for partial or total cutting of the female genitals.
Child Bearing Women: Girls/women between the ages of 15-49 years of age.