According to Terre des Femmes, FGM/C is mostly practiced among girls and women (5%) in the north of Cameroon. Especially girls from families with no formal education or those belonging to the Arab Choa, Fula, Hausa and Kanuri ethnic groups are more likely to have undergone FGM/C.
Reasons for practising FGM/C include the belief that it will preserve a woman’s virginity, religious and social duties. For example, a cut woman will have a better social standing and a better chance of finding a husband. Traditional circumcisers (77%) and midwives (8%) use to accomplish FGM/C practices; only a slight number of skilled health practitioners intervenes (4%).
Cameroon acceded to the ICESCR in 1984, ratified CEDAW in 1994, the CRC in 1993 and the Banjul Charter in 1989, but has not passed any national legislation dealing specifically with FGM/C.
See also 28 Too Many’s country profile on Cameroon.
FGM/C Country of Origin Expert for Cameroon
Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta
Dr Pemunta taught social anthropology and currently works as a research fellow at Linnaeus University, in Sweden. On the issue of FGM/C in Cameroon he published two books, Culture, Human rights and Socio-legal resistance against Female Genital Cutting practices: An anthropological Perspective (2011) and Health and Cultural Values: Female Circumcision within the Context of AIDS in Cameroon (2010). Dr Pemunta worked as Refugee Reproductive Health Programme Officer in Budapest and discussed FGM/C practices in several conferences. Since 2005, he has been advising NGOs and asylum lawyers in Cameroon, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Austria on gender-based violence, including FGM/C.
We have no Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Cameroon, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.