Among cut women aged 15-19, the nature of the procedure performed

Among cut women aged 15-19, the nature of the procedure performed

Among cut women aged 15-19, the nature of the procedure performed

Among cut women aged 15-19, the proportion of women who underwent each of three defined types of cutting:

  • Genital area was nicked, but no flesh removed
  • Any flesh was removed from the genital area
  •  The genital area was sewn closed

Three different measures are obtained to capture this information.

This indicator is calculated as:

(Cut women who report undergoing one of the procedures / All cut women aged 15-19 in the survey)

Data Requirement(s):

Type of cutting performed among women who have experienced FGC. It is important to use locally adapted wording to identify each of the three descriptions. Three different proportions will result, unless one or two types are not reported at all in a given area. The three proportions added together should cover all cut women, but some women may fall into two categories (those who had flesh removed and those whose genital area was sewn closed, since the latter procedure includes the former). Each numerator includes cut women who report that they have undergone a particular procedure and should be divided by the same denominator, which is the entire survey population of cut women.

Data should be disaggregated by age, region, ethnicity and religion.

A population-based survey (e.g., DHS’s female genital cutting (FGC) module)

The indicator measures the prevalence of each type of cutting, per the physical descriptions of cutting given, in the survey area. Researchers found that using a traditional classification system (e.g., the WHO classification system of Types I, II and III) led to low reliability of estimates among women. The descriptive classification listed ensures higher reliability in women’s reports.

The denominator of this indicator relies on self-reported FGC status, which may or may not be valid. The numerator also depends on women being able and willing to describe the procedure performed on them. Research has shown that the validity of the response varies by context. Several researchers have reported that FGC is under reported, but many of these studies refer to specific types of FGC rather than ever having undergone an FGC procedure or not. In some countries such as Ghana, where FGC has been legally banned, women may be likely to avoid reporting that they 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 undergone FGC 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, the self-reported responses tend to be valid. In other regions, self-reported responses should be interpreted with caution.

female genital cutting (FGC), violence, adolescent, safe motherhood (SM)

Bloom S.  “Violence Against Women and Girls: A Compendium of Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators.”  USAID, IGWG, and MEASURE Evaluation, 2008.

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