According to UNICEF, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Ghana is 4%. 93% of women and girls want the practice to end. At least 80% of girls have undergone FGM/C before the age of 5. Terre des Femmes notes that FGM/C is primarily practised in the north of the country, among the Kusasi, Frafra, Kassena, Nankanne, Bussauri, Moshie, Manprusie, Kantansi, Wala, Sissala, Grunshie, Dargati and Lobi. In the south it is mostly migrants from Mali, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso who practise FGM/C. In 80% of cases, girls are cut by traditional practitioners, the most common type of FGM/C is excision.
Reasons for practising FGM/C include the belief that it will ensure a woman’s faithfulness and preserve her virginity and that a cut woman will bear many healthy children.
See also 28 Too Many’s country profile on Ghana.
FGM/C Country of Origin Expert for Ghana
Since 2002, Saida has conducted ethnographic research in Ghana on women’s NGOs, Ghanaian advocacy to end FGM/C, and Ghanaian advocacy against domestic violence. She has also conducted community-based ethnographic research in the Upper East region of Ghana on women’s historical experiences with FGM/C and their responses to NGO and government interventions. Her focus has been on examining the process of ending of cutting in Ghana, which is regionally uneven, and different among various ethnic groups. She has testified in several cases and her expertise allows her to testify with regards to persons from the Upper East region of Ghana. In the areas where Saida has conducted research, adult women are not forced to undergo cutting, so she would not be able to testify to the fear of future prosecution on behalf of an adult woman who makes an asylum claim on the basis of a future threat of getting cut. Saida is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University.
Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Ghana
Ghanaian Association for Women’s Welfare (GAWW)
No. 11 5th Avenue, Ridge Accra, P.O. Box M.273
Tel.: (+233)-21-25 52 59
Contact Person: Mrs. Eunice Maasodong
The Ghanaian Association for Women’s Welfare was established to advocate for the elimination of traditional practices that affect the health of women and children such as FGM/C, early and forced marriages.