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Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is widely practiced in Sudan, where the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014 in Sudan, showed a prevalence of FGM/C among women and girls ages 15–49 years as 86.6%. Generational differences in the prevalence of FGM/C suggest a trend towards the abandonment of the practice, where FGM/C among girls age 10-14 years was 69%, compared to 82% among 15 to 19-year-olds, 88% among 30 to 34-year-olds, and 92% among 45 to 49-year-olds (CBS and UNICEF Sudan 2016, 215-216). The MICS also showed high support for abandonment of the practice, among women aged 15-49 (53%), and also among women in urban (67%) and rural areas (46%) (ibid. 218).

This study adopted a qualitative approach to examine and understand the characteristics of abandoning families, challenges they face in abandoning FGM/C, and factors that may help them maintain their abandonment position.

It is recommended more studies are needed to document in depth the benefits gained by families as a result of abandonment, including marriageability.