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More women abhor female genital mutilation

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

A Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) reveals that 94 per cent of women from the ages of 15-49 years abhor Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, while two per cent approved of it.

The survey further indicated that four per cent of women aged 15-49 years in Ghana had had any form of FGM and this practice was found to be most prevalent in the Upper West and Upper East regions, with 41 and 28 per cent rates respectively.

The MICS data also showed that the proportion of women aged 15-49 years who married before the age of 16 was six per cent while those who married before the age of 18 were 27 per cent.

On domestic violence, the MICS results revealed that 60 per cent of women approved of husbands beating their wives for various reasons with an acceptance rate of 70 per cent in the rural areas as compared to 51 per cent in the urban areas.

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Interestingly, whiles 60 per cent of the women who were often victims approved of wife beating, the results showed that only 36 per cent of men agreed that wife beating was justifiable for any given reason.

On sexual behaviour related to HIV transmission, the survey established that about 10 per cent of young women aged between 15 and 25 had sex before age 15, as compared to five per cent of young men of the same age group who had sex before age 15.

Additionally, the report showed that one in three women, representing 35 per cent, who were married or in a union, used any method of contraception, with 27 per cent using modern methods and 11 per cent using traditional methods.

The MICS was conducted in 2011 on broad topical issues spanning nutrition, child health and protection, water and sanitation, literacy and education, reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and disparities in intervention coverage, as well as an enhanced malaria module, with  financial and technical support  from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), USAID, United Nations

Population Fund (UNFPA), the Japanese Government, the Ministry of Health/National Malaria Control Programme, President’s Malaria Initiative and the Navrongo Health Research Centre. —  GNA