Various studies suggest that the practice is on the decline in many countries. But prevalence has increased Chad, Mali and Sierra Leone. The results are also mixed within countries. While the overall prevalence in Ethiopia has gone down, the prevalence among certain ethnic groups stays more or less unchanged.
The same is true of Tanzania. The national prevalence has decreased from 18% in 1996 to 10% in 2016 while the prevalence in Arusha and Manyara regions remains high at 41% and 58% respectively.
This doesn’t mean that campaigns against these practices have not had any effect – just possibly not always the desired effect. Understanding what has changed or stayed the same, and why, could reveal better ways to protect women’s health and social status.
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