Baseline/Endline Survey on Female Genital Mutilation in Six Regions of Ethiopia

About the publication

  • Published: November 2015
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: ABS Development Service
  • Commissioned by: Norwegian Church Aid
  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Theme: Women and gender equality
  • Pages: 128
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.


This evaluation was commissioned by NCA and Save the Children International to assess the baseline/end line situations of female genital mutilation (FGM), among the target communities in 22 districts of Oromia, SNNPR Afar, Harari and Somali Regions. The survey covered 3,129 households. The key areas of focus of the survey include knowledge, Attitude and Practice ( KAP); engagement and effectiveness of customary/statutory law; and, effectiveness of integration of anti FGM messages in religious institution works.

Purpose/ Objective

  • To identify the prevalence of FGM in the study areas
  • To identify the prevailing Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP)of FGM
  • To assess the engagement and effectiveness of customary/statutory law
  • To assess the extent to which the Program created the desired results
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of anti FGM messages integration in religious institution works


The survey was conducted in the NCA and Save the Children International (SCI) intervention and expansion districts. Multi-stage cluster and simple random sampling methods were used to select 15 expansion and 41 intervention Kebeles from 23 (10 expansion and 13 intervention) districts. Structured household questionnaires, Focus Group Discussion (FGD), and in-depth interview checklists were used to collect data from 3,129 sample households. Survey participants included:- households with under 18 years’-old girl/s, adult men and women, religious and community leaders, ex circumciser, boys and girls in the 10-24 age bracket, staff from relevant Government offices (WCYA, , Justice, and Police offices, health service providers, and FBOs/NGOs, and CBOs. The study also used secondary sources. Data was analysis was done using Trend analysis and SPSS(version-20).

Key Findings

a) Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (Prevalence)

The survey confirmed difference between intervention and expansion areas. In Afar and Somali regions, 92% and 96% of the population in intervention Woredas have Knowledge of FGM (Information plus forms of FGM), compared to 86% and 45% in expansion Woredas, respectively. In Oromia and SNNPR regions, 97% and 90% of the population in intervention Woredas have Knowledge of FGM, compared to 94% and 80% in expansion Woredas, respectively. In Amhara and Harari regions, 88% and 81% of the population in intervention Woredas have Knowledge of FGM.

  • - More than 80% of population in the intervention areas knows FGM is illegal.
  • High proportion of men/boys (60-80%) in intervention areas) has shown willingness to marry uncircumcised girls in Oromia and SNNPR.
  • A trend towards clandestine practices, shift in practice to Sunna, medicalization and circumcision of girls in adjacent areas remains a challenge.

b) Key detrimental factors for Change

  • Hearing about anti-FGM declaration/customary Law is a key determinant for FGM reduction: Health Extension workers (HEWs), radio, religious leaders and social networks are found to be main source of information in Amhara, Oromia and SNNP Regions.
  • Change in Attitude:- The likelihood of circumcision for a girl from household with favorable attitude towards FGM is 18 percent compared to a girl from parent with undecided attitude towards FGM.
  • Age of parents:- with lower age group parents likelihood of circumcision decreased by 11%.

c) Prevalence of FGM

The finding shown that the prevalence rate decreased in most target regions though the magnitude of reduction vary among regions. In the majority of the intervention areas, proportionally high reduction rate of FGM ranging from 46% in Dasenech to just 18 % in Harari has been reported. .

d) Effectiveness of Program Intervention

Attitude of Target Community Changed against FGM: The proportion of population supporting FGM decreased in all of the intervention Woredas. The range is wide though, e.g. 2.7% in Oromia and 44.7% SNNPR. The number of circumcisers decreased in all the intervention regions although new circumcisers are emerging

e) Engagement and Effectiveness of customary/traditional and statutory laws

The role of customary laws for preventing FGM is found to be effective. Hearing anti FGM declaration/customary law is an important determinants of FGM reduction. More than 62% of the study population heard about anti FGM declaration. The study shows that: - a) the number of cases getting verdict by customary law is greater than the number of statutory law; b) the engagement and effectiveness of customary law is better than statutory law.


a) Strengthen Customary/Traditional laws;

b) Conduct Advocacy Works to Improve Evidence;

c) Sector Office and Partners Capacity Building;

d) SBCC Approach for sustained reduction/eradication of FGM;

e)Engage Multiple Channels of Communications;

f) Conduct Targeted Campaigns;

g) Conduct Targeted Intervention with Young Mothers; and

h) Establish Watch Dogs

Comments from Norwegian Church Aid

Very good study, providing relevant information/baseline/end-line and recommendations. But advocacy and watch dog related recommendations are currently beyond CSOs capacity. Some more underlying causes for resistance to change with regard to FGM in some regions such as Harari could be further explored.

Published 31.10.2016
Last updated 31.10.2016