Ghana


FGM PREVALENCE: 3.8%

Key Findings


The prevalence of FGM in women aged 15-49 is 3.8%.

94.2% of women aged 15-49 who have heard of FGM believe the practice should be stopped.

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Geography

The departments with the highest prevalence are Upper West (41.1%) and Upper East (27.8%); all other regions are below 5%

Age

Girls usually undergo FGM before the age of 5

Type

‘Flesh removed’ is the most common type of FGM practised

Agent

84% of FGM cases are carried out by traditional practitioners called wanzams

Development Indicators


Population

28,712,066 (as at 20 June 2017), with a 2.18% growth rate (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

43 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015)

Maternal Mortality Rate

319 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)

Literacy

76.6% of the total population aged 15 and over can read/write

Prevalence of FGM


Prevalence of FGM

FGM is practised by several ethnic groups including the Kusasis, Frafras, Kassenas, Nankanis, Busangas, Wallas, Dagarbas, Builsas and Sisalas, who live mainly in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions of Ghana, and the migrant population in the south.  As a result, the Upper East and Upper West have the highest prevalence of FGM, at 41.1% and 27.8% respectively (of women aged 15-49), and all other regions have a prevalence of less than 5%. The Volta region, along the east coast, has the lowest prevalence, at 0.4%.  Women aged 15-49 who live in rural areas are more likely to undergo FGM (5.3%) than those living in urban areas (2.5%).

The prevalence of FGM is inversely correlated with level of education and wealth, and 94.2% of women aged 15-49 who have heard of FGM believe the practice should be stopped.

Trends in FGM Prevalence


Trends in FGM Prevalence

Between 2006 and 2011, the overall prevalence for women aged 15-49 remained the same, at 3.8%. However, breaking down the most recent data by age group shows that the prevalence for women aged 45-49 is 6.4%, while for the youngest age group this has fallen to 1.5%. Despite the fact that a small number of women may be cut after the age of 15, the data suggests that there is a trend towards lower prevalences among younger women.

FGM Legislation in Ghana


The Ghanaian Government passed legislation in 1994 (Act 484 to amend Article 69A of the Criminal Code).  Later, Article 26(2) of the Constitution was brought in to prohibit all customary practices that dehumanise or are injurious to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

RESEARCH & RESOURCES


Research and resources for Ghana