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Female genital mutilation continues to threaten mothers in Benin

“…cultural norms that in part prohibit women from seeing male doctors and many prefer herbalists and practitioners of traditional medicine.

“Female genital mutilation is still practiced in Benin, with deadly consequences for women. The first reliable evidence indicating that female genital mutilation can adversely affect birth outcomes was shown in a study conducted by leading African and international researchers in the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. The study involved 28,393 women in 28 obstetric facilities in six countries: study results showed that in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan, women who have had Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are significantly more likely to experience difficulties during childbirth.”

Implications:

“For Benin, eradicating the practice of female genital mutilation will be a first important step toward reducing maternal mortality.”

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Sources:

Searchlight Centre for Democracy and Development, June 2010, pg 6:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/CDD_June2010.pdf#page=6

Http://www.who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/ccsbrief_ben_en.pdf