Percent of mothers aged 15-49 who have at least one daughter who is cut
Among mothers aged 15-49 who have at least one daughter, the percentage with one or more who has/have undergone female genital cutting (FGC).
This indicator is calculated as:
(The number of mothers who one or more daughters who have been cut / All surveyed mothers with at least one daughter who is age X (culturally appropriate minimum age at which girls are cut) or older) x 100
This indicator is measured by asking women with at least one daughter who is old enough to be cut if they have any cut daughters. This should include women who have daughters who are old enough to be cut in that particular cultural context. It will be important to determine the minimum and maximum age at which girls are cut in the particular place where this is being measured.
Data should be disaggregated by mother’s age, region, ethnicity and
A population-based survey (e.g., DHS’s female genital cutting (FGC) module)
This indicator provides a measure of prevalence of FGC in a geographic area at the time of the survey. This may reflect recent patterns in the case of women with young daughters, or patterns from many years before if the daughters are older.
When measured over time, this indicator can be used to track changes, which can be further analyzed by education levels, geographic location, religion, and other variables to identify factors associated with change. This information can be used to improve programs aimed to eliminate FGC. A way of making this indicator reflect only recent prevalence would be to limit the age of the daughters to a range that would mean that procedures had taken place in the past five years, or limit women’s responses to daughters who have been cut in the past five years. This would make the interpretation of a change in patterns more reliable, with the same caveats on interpreting women’s reports with caution as detailed below.
The measurement of this indicator relies on the willingness of women to report that their daughters have been cut, which may or may not be valid. In countries where FGC has been legally banned, women may likely avoid reporting that their daughters are cut due to fear of legal ramifications. In areas where there have been campaigns to reduce the practice, women may be reluctant to report having had their daughters cut due to a perceived stigma associated with the practice. In regions where FGC is widely practiced, socially accepted, and few interventions are in place to prompt people to question its acceptability and legality, women’s responses will tend to be valid. In other regions, responses should be interpreted with caution.
women’s status, female genital cutting (FGC), adolescent, violence
In every society in which it is practiced, FGC is a manifestation of gender inequality that is deeply entrenched in social, economic and political structures and represents society’s control over women. Such practices have the effect of perpetuating normative gender roles that are unequal and harm women. Analysis of international health data shows a close link between women’s ability to exercise control over their lives and their belief that FGC mutilation should be ended. Where FGC is widely practiced, it is supported by both men and women, usually without question, and anyone departing from the norm may face condemnation, harassment, and ostracism. In many societies, older women who have themselves been cut often become gatekeepers of the practice, seeing it as essential to the identity of women and girls. This may be one reason why women, and more often older women, are more likely to support the practice, and tend to see efforts to combat the practice as an attack on their identity and culture. However, some of these actors also play a key role in efforts to eliminate the practice (UNICEF, Innocenti Research Centre, 2008).
Bloom S. “Violence Against Women and Girls: A Compendium of Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators.” USAID, IGWG, and MEASURE Evaluation, 2008.
Platform for Action Towards the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). 2008. The Donors Working Group on
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. UNICEF, Innocenti Research Centre.