Central African Republic

Country: Central African Republic

Population: 5.5 million (July 2016 est.)[1]

Languages:[2] French (official), Sangho (lingua franca), Tribal languages

Major religions:[3] Indigenous beliefs (35%), Protestant (25%), Roman Catholic (25%),  Muslim (15%)

 

Estimated FGC prevalence among women aged 15-49:

24.2%[4]

A breakdown of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data from 2010 shows the following:

table-1

Type(s) practised:

The most widely practised forms are Type I and Type II.

Legal status:

FGC has been illegal in the Central African Republic since 1966 (Order No. 66/16 of 22 February 1966). The latest amendment of the law took place in 1996. The penalty is imprisonment of between 1 month and 2 years, although no convictions have been made thus far. In 2006, Law No. 06032 on the protection of women against violence came into force including provisions on FGC.[5]

 


[1] ‘Central African Republic’ (The World Factbook, CIA)

< https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ct.html> accessed 6 December 2016

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

[4] Population Reference Bureau, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Data and Trends Update 2014 <http://www.prb.org/pdf14/fgm-wallchart2014.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

[5] ‘Act Relative to the Protection of Women Against Violence (FGM)’ (UN Women) <http://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/en/countries/africa/central-african-republic/2006/loi-relative-a-la-protection-de-la-femme-fgm> accessed 6 December 2016

History of FGC in the Central African Republic:

The practice is thought to have originally spread from Egypt down to Ethiopia and across the Central African Republic, where it became deeply infused in local culture.

Current efforts to abandon FGC:

There is little evidence available regarding current efforts to abandon FGC in the Central African Republic. However, the prevalence of FGC has declined over time (1994-2010) from 43% to 24% (among women aged 15-49), thanks to international mobilisation and progress in developing local laws, according to a recent article.[1]

Measures taken to combat harmful practices include the establishment of a national committee to combat traditional practices harmful to the health of women and girls, and violence against them by Decree No. 010, and the adoption of a national action plan addressing traditional practices harmful to women’s health and gender-based violence.[2]

Local/Regional/International civil society:

  • The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (CIAF) has been working to eliminate FGC in CAR.[3]
  • A programme on “Women, Nutrition and Development” was introduced in 1989, which included awareness-building campaigns on the harmful effects of excision.[4]
  • The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice has been working in CAR since 2006, and has held consultations, training workshops and public marches in support of women who have undergone FGC and advocating for gender justice. It has collaborated with OCODEFAD (Organisation pour la Compassion et le Développement des Familles en Détresse), JUPEDEC (Jeunesse Unie pour la Protection de l’Environnement et le Développement Communautaire), and international partner WITNESS for different workshops and events.[5]

Ongoing challenges:

The Central African Republic has been extremely unstable since its independence from France in 1960 and is one of the least developed countries in the world. Traditions therefore remain strong amongst the predominantly rural population. The Government states that it cannot live up to its human rights obligations, let alone women’s rights, due to widespread poverty and a gross lack of funding.

Additional information:[6]

The Central African Republic is one of 11 countries where statistics indicate that younger generations have lower prevalence rates for FGC than older generations. As of 2010, 75% of women and girls believe the practice should end.

89% of FGC is undertaken by traditional practitioners across societal levels. 52% of girls are cut between the ages of 10 and 14.

 


[1] Beatrice Credi, ‘Good news regarding female genital mutilation’ (West-info, 29 September 2016) <http://www.west-info.eu/good-news-regarding-female-genital-mutilation/ > accessed 6 December 2016

[2] Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Concluding observations on the combined initial and second to fifth periodic reports of the Central African Republic (CEDAW/C/CAF/CO/1-5) < http://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/-/media/files/un%20women/vaw/country%20report/africa/car/car%20cedaw%20co.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

[3] ‘GREATER EFFORTS NEEDED TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION – UN AGENCY’ (Forward UK, 6 February 2009) <http://forwarduk.org.uk/508/> accessed 6 December 2016 ; Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC) <http://iac-ciaf.net/about-iac/> accessed 6 December 2016

[4] ‘Legislation and other national provisions’(IPU) <http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/fgm-prov-c.htm> accessed 6 December 2016; Juliet Iweulmor and Dr Cassandra Veney, ‘Preserving a Woman’s Genitalia: An Analysis of Female Circumcision/Female Genital Mutilation in Africa’ <http://forms.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/mcnair/mcnair_jrnl2005/files/27_iwelumor.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

[5] ‘Civil society statement on situation in the CAR’ (Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, 11 April 2013) <http://4genderjustice.org/civil-society-statement-on-situation-in-the-car/> accessed 6 December 2016

[6] ‘Central African Republic: Statistical profile on female genital mutilation/cutting’ (Unicef) < http://data.unicef.org/wp-content/uploads/country_profiles/Central%20African%20Republic/FGMC_CAF.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

 

Prevalence by geographical department:

map-final

 

Source: Unicef 2013

Practising ethnic groups:

table-2

Prevailing attitudes towards FGC:

table-3

Reference list:

‘Act Relative to the Protection of Women Against Violence (FGM)’ (UN Women) <http://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/en/countries/africa/central-african-republic/2006/loi-relative-a-la-protection-de-la-femme-fgm> accessed 6 December 2016

‘Central African Republic: Statistical profile on female genital mutilation/cutting’ (Unicef)<http://data.unicef.org/wp-content/uploads/country_profiles/Central%20African%20Republic/FGMC_CAF.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

‘Central African Republic’ (The World Factbook, CIA) <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ct.html> accessed 6 December 2016

‘Civil society statement on situation in the CAR’ (Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, 11 April 2013) <http://4genderjustice.org/civil-society-statement-on-situation-in-the-car/> accessed 6 December 2016

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Concluding observations on the combined initial and second to fifth periodic reports of the Central African Republic (CEDAW/C/CAF/CO/1-5)< http://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/-/media/files/un%20women/vaw/country%20report/africa/car/car%20cedaw%20co.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

Credi B, ‘Good news regarding female genital mutilation’ (West-info, 29 September 2016) <http://www.west-info.eu/good-news-regarding-female-genital-mutilation/ > accessed 6 December 2016

‘GREATER EFFORTS NEEDED TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION – UN AGENCY’ (Forward UK, 6 February 2009) <http://forwarduk.org.uk/508/> accessed 6 December 2016

Institut Centrafricain des Statistiques et des Études Économiques et Sociales (ICASEES), Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS): CAR 2010 Final report (Bangui, CAR: ICASEES 2010)

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC) <http://iac-ciaf.net/about-iac/> accessed 6 December 2016

Iweulmor J and Dr Veney C, ‘Preserving a Woman’s Genitalia: An Analysis of Female Circumcision/Female Genital Mutilation in Africa’ <http://forms.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/mcnair/mcnair_jrnl2005/files/27_iwelumor.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

‘Legislation and other national provisions’ (IPU) <http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/fgm-prov-c.htm> accessed 6 December 2016

Population Reference Bureau, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Data and Trends Update 2014 <http://www.prb.org/pdf14/fgm-wallchart2014.pdf> accessed 6 December 2016

 

 

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