Togo

Country: Togo

Population: 7.4 million

Estimated prevalence among women aged 15-49:

3.9% & 172,643 women cut (aged 15+)

Data Source MICS 2010
15 – 49 (%) 3.9
15 - 19 (%) 1.1
45 - 49 (%) 6.7
Urban (%) 2.9
Rural (%) 4.6
Lowest Region (%) 0.9
Highest Region (%) 14.0
Nicked, no flesh removed (%) 25.8
Flesh removed (%) 64.1
Sewn closed (%) 5.2
Traditionally performed (%) 98.0
Medically performed (%) --
National law Illegal

PRB 2014

Type practised:

FGC Types I and II are mainly practised in Togo.

Legal status:

FGC has been illegal in Togo since 1998. Penalties under the law include a prison term of two months to ten years (depending on whether death occurred), and a fine of 100,000 CFA (US$160) to one million CFA (US$1,600). A person who knew that the procedure was going to take place and failed to inform public authorities can also be imprisoned from one month to one year, or receive a fine of from 20,000-500,000 CFA (US$32-800). There have been two successful convictions to date.

History of FGC in Togo:

The government has been very supportive of efforts to counteract FGC, through sponsoring seminars and campaigns against FGC. Since 1984, a National Committee of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC) was formed in Togo with the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs. This Committee organised seminars and workshops for cutters, health workers, policy-makers and village women and men in the Tchaoudjo region, where the incidence of this practice is high. A documentary denouncing the practice of FGC has appeared on national (government controlled) television. In May 1993, Togo sponsored the World Health Assembly resolution on harmful traditional practices.

Current efforts to abandon FGC:

Human rights and women’s rights groups in Togo have established outreach programs to inform rural populations about their rights and the health dangers of this practice. Examples of such groups are the YWCA, ALAFIA, WiLDAF-Togo and the Togolese Association for the Well-Being of the Family (Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial). The Group of Reflection and Action for Women in Democracy and Development (Groupe de Reflexion et d’Action Femme, Democratie et Developpement) is a women’s activist group that works to protect women from FGC and to take care of victims. The German NGO (I)ntact has been working in Togo for almost 10 years on ending FGC both legally and in practice.

This is reflected in the acceptance rate of FGC in Togo, as 89% of girls and women believe that FGC should end. Moreover, the prevalence rate has decreased from 7% (ages 45-49) to a minimal 1% (ages 15-19).

Ongoing challenges:

It is suggested that the current law is so rarely applied because the majority of cases take place in very rural regions, where it is possible that neither victims, perpetrators or the police fully understand the law.

Some reports suggest that an increase in the cost of living has led to former cutters, having denounced the practice after education programmes, taking the practice back up to generate extra income.

Ethnic groups:

37 tribes of which the largest are Ewe, Mina and Kabre - 99%

European and Syrian-Lebanese <1%

Languages:

French (official)

Ewe and Mina (the two major languages in the south)

Kabye and Dagomba (the two major languages in the north)

Major religions:

Christianity 29%

Islam 20%

Indigenous beliefs 51%

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