Estimating the prevalence of female genital mutilation in Portugal

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Due to globalized migratory processes, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) has spread to other countries, including countries in Europe, where, with a few exceptions, it remains a concealed problem. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first national extensive study to estimate the prevalence of FGM/C in Portugal.

STUDY DESIGN: Prevalence estimation.

METHODS: Using extrapolation of country-of-origin prevalence data and the 2011 Census data, this study estimated: the prevalence of FGM/C in Portugal among women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and among all women aged ≥15 years; and the number of girls aged <15 years living in Portugal who have undergone or will probably undergo FGM/C.

RESULTS: It is estimated that 6576 women aged ≥15 years living in Portugal have undergone FGM/C, with cases distributed unevenly throughout the national territory. In addition, it is estimated that 1830 girls aged <15 years living in Portugal have undergone or are likely to undergo FGM/C.

CONCLUSIONS: This study estimated that more than 6000 women living in Portugal have undergone FGM/C, and many girls remain at risk. These two groups need different types of interventions. Awareness of the number and geographical dispersion of cases of FGM/C will enable more informed and targeted definition of public health policies for protection of females who have undergone or are at risk of undergoing FGM/C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
Volume139
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circumcision, Female
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Portugal
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article

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