Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is recognized globally as carrying risks to both the physical and psychological health of girls and women and is widely considered a violation of human rights. An estimated 200 million girls and women in 30 countries have undergone FGM/C and as many as 30 million girls younger than 15 years of age are at risk. A common policy response to FGM/C is to call for the enactment and enforcement of criminal prohibitions on the practice. Yet, compliance with laws is complex: it can be motivated and undercut by moral, social, religious, and incentive-based factors. The study detailed in this working paper was conducted in two neighboring countries. Researchers selected Burkina Faso (which has a strong FGM/C law) and Mali (which has no specific FGM/C law) to explore attitudes and tendencies toward obeying the law and continuing FGM/C practices while controlling for many potentially confounding variables.
Wouango, Josephine, Susan L. Ostermann, and Daniel Mwanga. 2020. "When and how does law effectively reduce the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting?" Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive. New York: Population Council.
Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive