Female genital mutilation in Nigeria and Burkina Faso: Safeguarding the rights of women and girls in Africa

Author: Olaitan O. Olusegun

ISSN: 2521-2605
Affiliations: Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 9 Issue 2, p. 102 – 136


Article 2 of the Convention against the Elimination of Discrimination against Women explicitly prohibits violence against women, which was defined to include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is a practice which is entrenched in African culture. Archaic as this practice is, it is widely carried out in several countries, with its attendant deleterious effects. Nigeria and Burkina Faso have a high prevalence of FGM but have made legislative efforts to curb the practice. Burkina Faso has, however, employed additional measures to ensure their laws” enforcement, which has effectively changed the cultural attitudes of several communities towards FGM in the country. This study uses a doctrinal approach to examine the prevalence, mode of operation and legal framework enacted to protect girls and women from FGM in Nigeria and Burkina Faso. It further discusses the efforts taken in Burkina Faso to implement and enforce their laws, in addition to the challenges inherent in enforcing FGM, laws in Nigeria. This article found that enforcement of laws is key to eliminating FGM and Nigeria needs to take urgent measures to enforce their FGM legislation like Burkina Faso.