According to UNICEF, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Chad is 44%, and at least 80% of cut girls had the procedure performed when they were between the age of 5 and 14.
Terre des Femmes notes that the practice varies according to ethnic group and region. In Batha, Guéra, Salamat, Ouaddaï and Wadi Fira, the majority of women (92%) underwent FGM/C, while in BET (Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti), Kanem, and Lac, only about 4% was cut. Women of Arab, Ouaddaï and Hadjarai ethnicity are highly exposed to it (90%), whereas among the Mayo-Kebbi the prevalence is low (0.1%). Generally, girls from families with low levels of education or no education are exposed to greater risks. There are high levels of acceptance of FGM/C in the Muslim population, but a large number of families practicing FGM/C (43%) are Catholic.
Usually, traditional practitioners (90%) perform FGM/C in the form of excision. Many women justify FGM/C for social (31%) and religious reasons (23%), a smaller part for marriage prospects (8%) and to preserve virginity (7%). Only 5% adduced to hygienic reasons, while a consistent group of women (between 37% and 42%) does not know why FGM/C is practised but accept it as being part of a woman’s life.
Chad passed legislation banning FGM/C in 2003. Chad acceded to the ICESCR, the CEDAW in 1995, ratified the CRC in 1990 and the Banjul Charter in 1986.
See also 28 Too Many’s country profile on Chad.
FGM/C Country of Origin Experts for Chad
Lori Leonard is an International and Associate Professor in the department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. She has conducted field research and has written about FGM/C in Chad since 1993, with a focus on the practice in the south of the country and among the Sara. Her research looks, in particular, at the history of the procedures and their recent spread in some parts of the Moyen-Chari region. Her field research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (US), and she has published extensively on the topic.
We know of no anti-FGM/C Organisations in Chad, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.