Searching the Nexus between Women Empowerment and Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation

Patrizia Farina , University Milan Bicocca
Livia Elisa Ortensi, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna
Thomas Pettinato, University of Milan Bicocca
Mawa Mohamed, PhD Student
Enrico Ripamonti, Karolinska Institutet

Female Genital Cutting represents an extreme violation of women’s right and affects more than 200 million girls and women all over the world. While several efforts to limit these practices have been realised in the last two decades, it is still not clear which factors should be more kept into account when implementing new intervention programs. We aimed to assess the relevance of women empowerment on daughters’ transmission of FGC, controlling for socio-economic condition and other background characteristics. We used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys Program collected in 7 African countries. To carry out the analysis we fit seven Linear Probability Models at the country level to allow comparison between countries. We present results mainly in term of predicted probabilities of supporting FGM/C according to each empowerment index quartile. Results confirm the hypothesis of a relation between empowerment and FGM/C continuation. In all countries empowerment has negative effects/coefficients on supporting FGM/C. The dynamic is evident in correspondence to the first factor that summarises discriminating gender roles. Also, the factors “family decision-making” and “Autonomy” show analogous pattern, still less sharp because in some cases the coefficients do not assume negative sign. Finally, empowerment effect can be equally visible using the linear predicted probability of supporting FGM/C. Concerning gender role violence it should be noted the decreasing in the probability of supporting FGM/C as the empowerment quartiles grow. This is very substantial in Burkina, Togo and Nigeria. Again, the pattern of this relationship is weaker in the other two dimensions.

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 Presented in Session 47. Linking Policies, Health and Mortality