Factors associated with men's opinion about female genital mutilation in Ethiopia

Bethany A. Sara, Sarah E. Rubin, Zelalem T. Haile, Dawit G. Alemu, Ilana R. Azulay Chertok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is considered a human rights violation against women and girls causing serious short and long-term health complications. Despite being a criminal offence in Ethiopia since 2004, the practice continues. Minimal research has been published on factors associated with men's opinion about FGM in Ethiopia. Objective and Aims: The present cross-sectional study used secondary data to identify factors associated with men's opinions about the practice of FGM. Methods: Secondary data analysis was conducted using data from 8,718 men who responded to the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys (EDHS). The dependent variable was men's opinion about FGM. Demographic, socioeconomic, and other characteristics were examined. Results: Variables associated with men's support for FGM were lack of education (AOR = 2.91; 95% CI: 1.93, 4.40, p = <0.001), poor wealth index (AOR, 1.76; 95% CI 1.32, 2.35, p = 0.001), ethnically Afar (AOR = 2.50, 95% CI: 1.27, 4.95, p = 0.009) and Somali (AOR = 2.02, 95% CI: 1.15, 3.54, p = 0.015), Muslim religion (AOR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.13, 2.50, p = 0.007), and support for wife beating with at least one justification (AOR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.66, 2.50, p = <0.001). Conclusion: Lack of education, poor household wealth index, being Muslim and being a member of the Afar or Somali ethnicity and having a tendency that it is appropriate for a husband to beat his wife, were positively associated support for FGM. These findings suggest that context-specific interventions are needed to eradicate the practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100721
JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Abandonment
  • Ethiopia
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Men's opinion
  • Survey research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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