Women’s empowerment and attitudes towards female genital mutilation abandonment in Nigeria: A cross-sectional analysis of the Nigeria demographic health survey

Erin Leasure, Connor Roth, Erick Yegon, Elizabeth Anderson, Nitin Datta, Chimaraoke Izugbara


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation that impacts the social, physical, psychological, sexual, and gynecological wellbeing of women and girls. Even so, FGM persists in many Nigerian communities. Using data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, we investigated the association between women’s empowerment and attitudes towards FGM abandonment. A weighted logistic regression adjusting for demographic factors, contraceptive use, contraceptive decisionmaking power, and severity of FGM was used to assess the influence of the validated African Women’s Empowerment Index-West on women’s favorability to abandoning FGM as a practice. This study found that higher education level, zero acceptance of violence against women, and higher access to healthcare as indicators of empowerment were associated with support for FGM abandonment. Additional research is needed to understand further the influences on decision making and to further research the various empowerment scales and their impact on FGM abandonment. (Afr J Reprod Health 2022; 26[12s]: 127-137).

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