Litracy,women's autonomy and female genital mutilation in Osogbo, Osun State.
The study assessed the influence of literacy and women’s autonomy on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in Osogbo, Osun State, and identified the main factors responsible for persistence of the practice, determined the relationship between women’s autonomy and decision-making on female genital mutilation with a view to provide information on how literacy amongst women and their autonomy would help stop the practice of female genital mutilation and provide policy makers strategies for its elimination in the community. It was a descriptive, cross sectional study of 420 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who have at least one female child below 5 years.Multi stage sampling technique was used to select respondents. The questionnaire was adapted from women’s questionnaire on female genital cutting, NDHS 2008 and modified. Data was analysed with Stata Software, version 12.0. Pearson chi square was used to determine association between dependent and independent variables with p-value set at 0.05. Ethical approval was obtained from the Research Committee of the Institute of Public Health, O.A.U, Ile-Ife. The result of the study showed that the prevalence of FGM among women of reproductive age group (15-49 years) in Osogbo was 51.7% and 25.7% in children below five years respectively. Type 1 FGM featured more than the other types and 49.1% of the circumcisions were carried out by traditional circumciser/excisors. There was a significant association between mothers’ level of education and decision-making on their personal health (p-value less than 0.05). Mother’s level of education significantly influenced circumcision of their daughters (p< 0.05). Women autonomy have no significant relationship with the practice of FGM (OR 1.43, CI 0.48-4.44, p value 0.511. This study concluded that access to education is a key strategy to eliminate the practice of FGM and therefore recommends to the Ministry of Education to integrate the issues of FGM into school curriculum, national curricula and teacher training programmes.