208783 Trends in age-specific rates of female genital cutting (FGC) in Egypt

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dominique Meekers, PhD , Dept. of International Health and Development, Tulane University SPHTM, New Orleans, LA
Since 1997, Egypt has banned practitioners from performing FGC in public and private facilities, except for medical reasons. This loophole allowed the practice to continue, and scattered reports suggest it had little effect. A 2007 decree completely banned FGC, but its effect remains unknown. We use data from the 2005 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey, which contains information on a representative sample of 19,474 women. Women were asked about the circumcision status and age at circumcision of their daughters (n=20,887). We use survival analyses to estimate the median age at FGC and the percentage experiencing FGC by specific ages. Because most girls born before 1990 were not yet circumcised by the time of the 1997 FGC ban, we compare circumcision prevalence for different birth cohorts. The median age at circumcision is 11.5 years. The lifetable analysis shows that 20% of girls were circumcised by age 9, 28% by age 10, 45% by age 11, and 70% by age 14. By age 18, 99% were circumcised. Comparison by birth cohort shows that age-specific circumcision rates did decline. Among girls born by 1990, 32% were circumcised by age 10, and 51% by age 11. By contrast, among those born after 1990, only 27% were circumcised by age 10 and only 41% by age 11. Although the 1997 FGC ban had a major loophole, age-specific FGC rates reveal a significant decrease in FGC. Further analysis of the upcoming 2008 DHS is needed to assess if this decline in FGC is continuing.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe trends in age-specific rates of female genital cutting 2. Assess the effect of the 1997 FGC ban on age-specific rates of female genital cutting

Keywords: Women's Health, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a PhD; am the Chair of a Department of International Health and Development; have presented other research on FGC in Egypt at previous meetings and have published on the topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.