Volume 92, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This paper draws on household data to examine the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Senegal and the effectiveness of the country's anti-FGM law in dealing with actual breaches and providing protection to the victims. The 2010–2011 Senegal Demographic Health Survey and Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (SDHS-MICS) covers 14,228 women and their daughters. Logistic regression was used to investigate the geographic distribution of FGM across regions. For the enforceability of anti-FGM, desk research was used. Overall prevalence among women and daughters was 28.1% and 6.2%, respectively. Significant factors were sociodemographics, ethnicity, and region. This analysis shows both advantages and vulnerabilities of the anti-FGM law in relation to the issue of enforcement. It indicates that the law falls short of offering adequate protection to potential victims. FGM is a cultural and social norm imbedded predominantly in rural settings and as such, drives resistance to jettisoning FGM. Legislation has been one of the driving forces behind the eradication of the practice.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 05 Feb 2014
  • Accepted : 12 Aug 2014
  • Published online : 01 Apr 2015

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