Côte d’Ivoire

Country: Côte d’Ivoire

Population: 22.8 million

Estimated prevalence among women aged 15-49:

38.2% & 2,043,948 women aged 15+ cut

Data Source MICS 2012
15 – 49 (%) 38.2
15 - 19 (%) 31.3
45 - 49 (%) 46.9
Urban (%) 37.7
Rural (%) 38.8
Lowest Region (%) 12.2
Highest Region (%) 79.5
Nicked, no flesh removed (%) 4.7
Flesh removed (%) 71.1
Sewn closed (%) 8.7
Traditionally performed (%) 94.9
Medically performed (%) 0.3
National law Illegal

PRB 2014

Type practised:

The most widely practiced form is Type II.

Legal status:

In 1998 a law was passed that made FGC punishable by fine and imprisonment. The first prosecution in the state occurred in Katiola in 2012 when 9 women (4 cutters and 5 others) were fined and condemned to one year in jail. However, due to the women’s ages their prison sentences were not carried out.

History of FGC in Cote d’Ivoire:

After the 1998 law, the national government worked alongside NGOS, such as the AIDF (Ivoirian Association for Defence of Women’s Rights), to launch major awareness campaigns informing the general public, law enforcement agencies and local government officials of the new law. The government has also been heavily involved in the campaign to eradicate FGC in Cote d‘Ivoire through the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Family and through the Ministry of Public Health.

Current efforts to abandon FGC:

Following the end of the civil war in 2007, FGC rates have declined significantly. 82% of women and girls and men and boys that believe the practice should end, with the prevalence rate decreasing from 47% (45-49 years old) to 31% (15-19 years old).

The AIDF has been the most active NGO campaigning against the practice through holding anti-FGC seminars. It also works to stop FGC medicalisation, because even though the current rate of medical FGC is 0.5% compared with the rate of traditional practitioners at 95%, the rate of medicalisation is increasing. The AIDF awareness raising campaigns have also been aired on national radio and in newspapers to inform the public of the harms of FGC, as 55% of women aged 15-49 make use of at least one form of information media each week.

Since the ‘Zero Tolerance’ national campaign began in 2010 across Cote d’Ivoire to end FGC, 180 villages in Marandallah prefecture (in the north-central Worodougou region) ceased the practice. The campaign was run by the Ministry for Family, Women and Social Affairs, and was backed by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), UNICEF and UNFPA.

Ongoing challenges:

A civil war in 2002 split the country between the rebel-held north and government-controlled south. Ongoing political instability has posed challenges to efforts to end FGC.

Deteriorating health and education services have resulted in a continuation of high prevalence rates. Schools were the best places to make girls aware of the dangers of FGC and medical personnel were in the best position to educate them of the health dangers of the practice, but both sectors have experienced severe staff shortages and inadequate resources.

Practising ethnic groups:








French (official)

60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken

Major religions:

Muslim 38.6%

Christian 32.8%

Indigenous beliefs 11.9%

None 16.7%

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