Impact of the complete ban on female genital cutting on the attitude of educated women from Upper Egypt toward the practice

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Mar;120(3):275-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.10.010. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Objective: To compare the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC) before and 5 years after the law completely banned the practice in Egypt, and evaluate the attitude of educated mothers of girls toward FGC in Upper Egypt.

Methods: All women attending 2 outpatient clinics in Upper Egypt were approached from January 1 through November 30, 2011. A trained nurse interviewed those who had daughters, and factors influencing their attitude toward FGC were evaluated. The participants in a previous study done in the same locality acted a historical comparison group.

Results: The percentage of women who had FGC performed on at least 1 daughter was significantly lower in 2011 than in 2006 (71.6% vs 77.8%, P=0.04). The main reason for performing FGC, given by 42.6% of the participants, was family pressure. The percentage of FGC procedures practiced by physicians was significantly lower in 2011 than it was in 2006 (34.6% vs 39.3%, P=0.04).

Conclusion: The decrease in prevalence of FGC after its complete ban was small after 5 years, with little change in attitude among educated families in Upper Egypt. In addition to the current law, a change in attitude will be needed to wipe out this custom.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Circumcision, Female / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Circumcision, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Egypt
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Mothers*
  • Nuclear Family
  • Prevalence
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult