World Journal of Preventive Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2379-8823 ISSN (Online): 2379-8866 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
World Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2018, 6(1), 1-5
DOI: 10.12691/jpm-6-1-1
Open AccessMini Review

Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria; A Brief Sociological Review

Oluchi Anita Chukwuka Ogbu

Pub. Date: March 07, 2018

Cite this paper:
Oluchi Anita Chukwuka Ogbu. Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria; A Brief Sociological Review. World Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2018; 6(1):1-5. doi: 10.12691/jpm-6-1-1


This paper is aimed at developing an insight into a preventable societal issue: the female genital mutilation (FGM), using sociological theories to explore its justifications. In Nigeria, FGM is historically predominant in her culture and traditions. In many cultures, it is perceived as a rites or initiation into womanhood as it includes a period of education and seclusion about responsibilities of a wife. The issue of Female genital mutilation in Nigeria is being tackled by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Economic Commission of Africa (FIGO) and many other organizations. The general public at all levels has been given an intensified education emphasizing on the undesirability and dangers of Female Genital Mutilation. Platform of Action adopted by the Beijing conference in 1995 called for FGM eradication by enforcing legislation against its perpetrators. However, in Nigeria there is no such law against FGM practice. This perhaps, remains one of the reasons why FGM control in the country is on slow declining progress.

female genital mutilation sociology

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  GSN, W. T., Newsgroup, G. S. N., & Feed, G. L. (2006). Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries.
[2]  USAIDS (2014). The U.S. Government Working Together for the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Retrieved from
[3]  Yoder, P. S., & Khan, S. (2008). Numbers of women circumcised in Africa: The production of a total.
[4]  Clarke, C. (2013). Cultural and Religious Practices, the Lack of Educational Resources, and their Role in the Perpetuation of Female Genital Mutilation. Undergraduate Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research, 6(1), 36-44.
[5]  Asekun-Olarinmoye, E. O., & Amusan, O. A. (2008). The impact of health education on attitudes towards female genital mutilation (FGM) in a rural Nigerian community. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 13(3), 289-297.
[6]  World Health Organization. (1997). Female Genital Mutilation: A Joint WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA Statement. Geneva, Switzerland:
[7]  Isiaka, B. T., & Yusuff, S. O. (2013). Perception of Women on Female Genital Mutilations and implications for health communications in Lagos State, Nigeria. American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal, 5(1), 8.
[8]  Behrendt, A., & Moritz, S. (2014). Posttraumatic stress disorder and memory problems after female genital mutilation. American Journal of Psychiatry.
[9]  Baron, E. M., & Denmark, F. L. (2006). An exploration of female genital mutilation. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1087(1), 339-355.
[10]  Pickup, F., Williams, S., & Sweetman, C. (2001). Ending violence against women: A challenge for development and humanitarian work. Oxfam.
[11]  Herger-Boyle, Elizabeth, Sangora , Fortunata, Foss, G. (2001). International discourse and local politics: Anti-female-genital-cutting laws in Egypt, Tanzania, and the United States.
[12]  Marx, K. (1972). The marx-engels reader (Vol. 4). New York: Norton.
[13]  Mandara, M. U. (2004). Female genital mutilation in Nigeria. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 84(3), 291-298.
[14]  Berg, R. C., & Denison, E. (2012). Interventions to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting in African countries. Campbell systematic reviews, 8(9).
[15]  Elmusharaf, S., Elhadi, N., & Almroth, L. (2006). Reliability of self reported form of female genital mutilation and WHO classification: cross sectional study. bmj, 333(7559), 124.
[16]  Njambi, W. N. (2004). Dualisms and female bodies in representations of African female circumcision A feminist critique. Feminist Theory, 5(3), 281-303.
[17]  National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and ICF International. 2014. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2013. Abuja, Nigeria, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NPA and ICF Intern.