American Univesity of Beirut

Factors associated with female genital mutilation: a systematic review and synthesis of national, regional and community-based studies

​Zeinab El-Dirani, Leen Farouki (Student), Christelle Akl (PhD Student), Ubah Ali (Student), Chaza Akik, Stephen J McCall 

This systematic review examines the factors associated with the female genital mutilation (FGM) globally. Most of the 54 studies included in this review showed that higher levels of maternal and paternal education were associated with lower levels of FGM in daughters. Living in an urban appears to be protective against FGM in most cases. The studies also showed an increased likelihood of FGM in families where older females have undergone the procedure. There was conflicting evidence between the relationship of FGM with wealth and employment across studies. Many of the studies showed an association between FGM and the Islamic faith, which is context specific.  

The pursuit of gender equality, women’s empowerment, and elimination of FGM/C are cross-cutting, which require engagement at all levels of the socio-ecological model to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. ​

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