Monday, September 11, 2006

Breakdown of FGM stats

I thought some people might find it interesting to see the breakdown of the female circumcision stats from the National Bureau of Statistics 2006 Welfare Indicators survey:

Total: 32.6%
Rural: 29%
Rural poor: 27.8%
Urban: 40%
Urban poor: 43.7%

Regional breakdown:

North-East: 1.7%
North-West: 2.0%
North-Central: 14.5%
South-East: 58.3%
South-West: 65.0%
South-South: 46.7%

Note: the margin error is set at 0.6%

Apart from the inference that FGM is highest amongst the Yoruba, the other surprise is that the practice is higher in urban areas.


Akin 8:31 pm  

This is interesting if not alarming, I did not know that the practice was prevalent amongst the Yorubas.

However, on reflection, I would suppose this would be the case within tribes that have fertility rites and ceremonies for girls coming of age.

I should research this topic further because I never came across this at all when I lived in Yorubaland.

ayoke 9:21 pm  

Akin, do let us know what you come up with. I'm also quite surprised that the practice is that high in the South-West. Years ago when I was interested in the subject, only an Efik lady confirmed she was circumcised. A friend from Osun State said she really wasn't sure. I also asked my mother and she said it was not a common practice in our village but with this survey, perhaps it is common in more places than we imagined. I studied Yoruba history throughout secondary school and I never came across this fact. Is it that we don't know or it's just not talked about?

Tolu,  9:23 pm  

Its really funny, as a Yoruba girl, who lived the first 20 years of her life in Nigeria, its amazing to me that FGM is said to be most prevalent amongst the Yorubas.

In the mid-nineties, when I studied at UI, there were several theatre presentations at the arts theatre on the topics of FGM, abortion, etc.
It was during this period that I met Funmi, the only woman that I know who claimed to have been circumcised. According to her, it was done while she was on a visit to her mother's village. The curious fact is that her mother is Igbo.
I find it difficult to believe, mainly because like facial scarring, and male circumcision amongst the Yorubas, one would expect it to be common knowledge, which it is not. Maybe I am just in denial though.

kemi,  11:25 pm  


I'd take this survey with a pinch of salt. My mother is having a difficult time now getting survey statistics for her research on menopausal women in West Africa.

She says that results from illiterate/uneducated women are completely unreliable. E.g so many many women claiming that they didn't start their periods until they were in their 30s and those in their 70s or 80s insisting that they are still menstruating.

The results were completely different (and more normal) when restricted to women who had a minimum secondary education.
I think it is hard to concede that education causes a woman to start menstruating early!!

Any survey that has to do with sexuality or reproduction is never answered properly. Too many people don't understand why they are being asked these questions and try and hide the truth out of embarassment or God knows what.

When you're studying a science like biology or anatomy, it is often easy to get stats from a restricted group of educated people. Not so when your subject is social or psychological.

Confessions of a moody crab 1:00 am  

I did a research on FGM last year and in Nigeria, FGM is prevalent not only among the yorubas but also among the ibos. Even though it is not widely known, it is practised in some part of lagos(the outskirt) Shocking but it is true!

Shango,  4:05 pm  

I view these figures with a healthy dose of skepticism. In fact, I don't believe them at all; there's someone somewhere fraudulently gaining from this "information" somehow.
You know what they say, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

St Antonym 5:25 pm  

Kemi, that's a great comment. It really does put this stuff in perspective.

Especially the issue of truth in self-reporting when the matter at hand is sexual in anyway.

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