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Female genital mutilation in Guinea: a never-ending story?

The whys and hows of a highly resistant cultural insitution – and Guinean-German paths to address it

Dr. Mary White Kaba

Study commissioned by Health Focus GmbH, Potsdam, Germany


Executive Summary

In the mineral-rich West African nation of Guinea, the traditional practice of modifying the female genitals has barely decreased over the past 30 years – from 99% to 95% of girls and women. Despite intensive efforts by NGOs, development partners and legislators, the practice continues almost unabated. Meanwhile, female genital mutilation (FGM) is receding in neighbouring countries.

This study seeks to discover what factors are at play in maintaining Guinea’s rank of second-highest prevalence of FGM in the world after Somalia, but also what measures have been taken against the practice – and how they have been received. The contribution of Guinean-German cooperation in proposing culture-sensitive paths to addressing the issue is also explored, and the study concludes with an assessment of current trends for and against the continuing practice of FGM in Guinea.

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