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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Norms Replacement. A Field Experiment on Female Genital Cutting

Lucia Corno (Cattolica University), joint with Eliana La Ferrara

Thursday 14 July 2022 13:00 - 14:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

We evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions designed to reduce the incidence of female genital cutting (FGC) among adolescent girls in Sierra Leone. In this setting, FGC is part of a ritual called Bondo, which marks a girl's transition into womanhood. We randomly assigned over 3,500 mothers from 150 villages to three experimental arms: (i) a control group; (ii) an information arm, where we held community-wide discussions on the differences in outcomes between cut and uncut girls (e.g., in terms of health); and (iii) a norm-replacement arm, aimed at substituting the traditional ritual with an alternative that does not involve cutting ("Bondo without cutting"). We measure FGC status both through mother's reports and through direct observation by medical personnel during health checks. Both treatments resulted in a 35%-38% increase in the probability that girls were not cut two years after the intervention, and that their mothers reported the intention not to cut them in the future. Our results underline the importance of designing culturally-sensitive policies when trying to change harmful traditions.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Sadia Ali:

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