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Journal of Women's Health. 2011 Nov; 20(11):1655-1661.Background: The practice of female genital cutting (FGC) is widespread in Nigeria and varies from one ethnic group to another. In 1994, Nigeria joined members of the 47th World Health Assembly in a resolution to eliminate the practice, and since then, several steps has been taken to achieve this objective. Methods: Nigeria joined members of the 47th World Health Assembly sixteen years ago in a resolution to eliminate female genital mutilation. This study uses data from 420 women aged 15-49 years who had at least one surviving daughter to investigate changes in FGC prevalence among mothers and daughters. The sample was systematically selected through stratified random sampling across the six states of southwest Nigeria. Focus group discussion, and an in-depth interview with fourteen women considered to be specialist in FGC were also held to compliment data generated from the interview. Results: The analysis indicated an FGC prevalence rate of 75% and 71% for mothers and daughters, respectively. It further indicated that the practice is rooted in tradition despite the fact that 52% of the respondents are aware of the health hazards of FGC. Educated mothers were found to be less likely to favor the cutting of their daughters. Conclusions: It is suggested that educational campaigns aimed toward parents should be intensified. Legal recourse, prohibition of operations, improvement in women's status, and sex education are also suggested as means of eradicating the practice.
Acta Pædiatrica. Supplement. 1999 Aug; 88(430):1-6.The prevalence of breastfeeding varies very much throughout the world. In some countries, such as in Scandinavia, it is extremely high, whereas it is rather low in many industrialized countries such as northern Italy. In urban areas of many developing countries the prevalence is extremely low, although it may be high in rural areas. For instance, in rural Guinea-Bissau in West Africa it is reported to be 100% at 3 mo of age, and this high prevalence may be explained by the fact that infants who have not been breastfed die before this age. In Sweden the prevalence at 2 mo of age was around 95% in 1945 (including infants fed by milk-mothers) but then gradually dropped until 1972, when it was as low as 20%. However, during the following 10-y period the prevalence gradually increased to around 80%. The main reasons for the decline most probably were that infant formulae, then considered to be safe, became available, that an increasing number of women started to work outside their homes, making formula feeding part of the feminist movement, and finally that no real attempts were made to promote breastfeeding in the maternity wards and well-baby clinics. The reverse trend started in 1972, when the attitude towards breastfeeding changed completely. Well-educated mothers became aware of the new discoveries of the importance of breastfeeding from immunological and nutritional points of view, and organized campaigns. Within a few years, the Swedish parliament passed a law which guaranteed all mothers paid leave from their work (80% of their salary) for 9 mo after childbirth, which has now been increased to 12 mo. The WHO/UNICEF code from 1980, which regulates the marketing of infant formula, has also probably played an important role. After a plateau for the prevalence of breastfeeding between 1982 and 1990, a further increase has taken place, particularly between 6 and 9 mo of age. Whereas the first phase in the increase of the prevalence of breastfeeding was, to a certain extent, the result of the concern of well-educated mothers, the second phase (1990-1998) may, at least partly, be explained by the fact that Swedish maternity wards then implemented the suggestion, launched by WHO/UNICEF, to create "baby-friendly" maternity hospitals with the aim of enabling all women to practise exclusive breastfeeding immediately after birth. Methods to stimulate lactation and proper nutritional suckling behaviour of the newborn were then developed. (author's)
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Nov.  p.FGM/C is a fundamental violation of human rights. In the absence of any perceived medical necessity, it subjects girls and women to health risks and has life-threatening consequences. Among those rights violated are the right to the highest attainable standard of health and to bodily integrity. Furthermore, it could be argued that girls (under 18) cannot be said to give informed consent to such a potentially damaging practice as FGM/C. FGM/C is, further, an extreme example of discrimination based on sex. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women defines discrimination as "any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field." Used as a way to control women's sexuality, FGM/C is a main manifestation of gender inequality and discrimination "related to the historical suppression and subjugation of women," denying girls and women the full enjoyment of their rights and liberties. (excerpt)
Family Coordinator. 1973 Jul; 22(3):331-8.Data collected on behalf of the Planned Parenthood/World Population (PPWP) affiliate to be used in planning a vasectomy education program came from a survey of 387 men and women in Hayward, California, to ascertain the levels of knowledge and prevalence of vasectomy and attitudes toward the operation. The sample was comprised of men and women in 3 income categories, and households were not preselected on a random basis. The survey instrument was a 1-page set of questions, primarily of the closed-ended type which the respondent completed in the presence of the interviewer. The major findings were: 1) PPWP was not identified as a source of aid; 2) most men and women have discussed vasectomy with their spouses; 3) men and women are influenced by attitudes and practices of others with regard to vasectomy; 4) physicians are seen as the main source of information about vasectomy; 5) irreversibility is the major concern of the men and women; and 6) eligible couples can be reached only by a community-side education program. Implications of the survey for a community education program are put into concrete, programmatic terms, indicating lines of direction, points of departure, and crucial ideas sometimes overlooked in service programs. It is concluded that in all areas of a community education program vasectomy should be presented as 1 or a range of alternatives, thus assuring the couple that does elect vasectomy that they really did make a free choice.