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Why Female Genital Cutting Remain High in Hababo Guduru District, West Ethiopia: A Qualitative Study

Mulugeta Gajaa, Yigzaw Kebede, Lemma Derseh and Negash Wakgari

Objective: This study has examined the reasons for high prevalence of female genital mutilation in the Hababo Guduru district, west Ethiopia. Globally, more than 130 millions of women are genitally mutilated. In Ethiopia, female genital mutilation is being practiced in different ethnic groups since a long period of time. Such an action is usually performed by traditional circumcisers, birth attendants, grandmothers and health care providers. Methods: Purposive sampling technique was applied to select key informants. Interview guide line was used to collect data. The voices of key informants was recorded by tape recorder, transcribed and imported to open code version 4.02. The data was coded and organized. Thematic data analysis was employed in analyzing and interpreting the raw data. Results: Sixty five key informants were participated in the study. Thirty five of them were females. More than 81% of key informants have negative attitude towards female genital cutting and 53 of them were interested with the continuation of female genital cutting. The main reason for conducting female genital cutting was to respect tradition, to avoid shame, to maintain virgin, to reduce sexual desire, and for hygiene. The present study reports, religion is negatively associated with female genital cutting. Even though, legislation against female genital cutting was made, it was not successfully enacted as required in the study area. Conclusion: Female genital cutting has no religious requirement since; none of the religious scripts order this practice. Programs focused on traditional circumcisers and giving awareness about the negative side effect of female genital cutting for community through religious leaders will be efficient and effective. Moreover, providing the health education concerning to the disadvantages of female genital cutting is strongly recommended.