Culture and Health

Culture and Health

Cultures explain the causes of illnesses through their systems of health beliefs and how illness should be treated. The significance of culture in relation to health is that patients’ education with cultural relevance has a profound effect on them if they are willing to use it(Odebiyi & Sunal, 2020). Female genital mutilation and violence against women are standard cultural practices in Nigerian, which are harmful to women’s health hence gender inequality.


Female genital mutilation is a cultural practice in Nigeria that butcher females’ genital organs and leads to health compilations. It involves the removal of the most sensitive part of the female genital organ to control her sexuality. In Nigeria, female genital mutilation is mainly done to enable young girls to preserve their virginity before marriage and chastity after they are married(Ejikeme & Aneru, 2019). The outcomes FGM ends up affecting the health conditions of the girl. The process is painful, and the young adults’ mobility can take forty days if their legs are bound together after infibulation. Thus, Female genital mutilation is an outdated traditional practice that interferes with the good health of women.

Female genital mutilation affects the violation of a child’s human right on health. It is the right of every child to enjoy good health. In Nigeria’s rural setting, Female genital mutilation is practiced to different girls using the same kitchen knife, a razor-blade or fingernails, thus increasing the risk of blood transmitted health diseases. While female genital mutilation takes about fifteen to twenty-five minutes, anesthetic is not administered in most cases (Omigbodun et al., 2020). The primary reliance treatment of an FGM wound in Nigeria’s rural setting is local herbs medicines, which are less effective. Female genital mutilation creates health hazards that display inequality in women, thus violating their rights.

Domestic violence is viewed as an act of cultural practice against women that introduce gender discrimination. The Family, community and State condone these acts. Human rights Commission brought it to the awareness that domestic violence is not a form of traditional cultural practice. Violence against women in Nigeria has encountered tireless campaigns from women who demanded government accountability due to violations of these women’s rights(Yaya & Ghose, 2018). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights joined the women in condemnation of domestic violence by terming it an instrument of discrimination against women. Domestic violence is, therefore, a cultural practice that disregards the significance of gender equality in Nigeria.

Violence against women causes mental health problems. The health of women involved in domestic violence is impacted negatively. The effects of mental health further extend to children and communities if they are not approached on time. In domestic violence, serious health injuries are sustained by women if the abuse was severe(Kimani & Obianwu, 2020). Medical treatment to the victim is a high percentage requirement in enhancing the women’s recovery. The woman will generate failure to medical treatment and low self-esteem due to stress arising from mental health complications. Violence against women is a risk behavior of mental health problems.

Female genital mutilation and violence against women are harmful to gender inequality in cultural practice that complicate health conditions. They interfere with women’s good health by butchering female genital organs and introduces instruments of gender discrimination. The health hazards of these practices violate worldwide women’s rights, which shed light on violence against women being a risk behavior to mental health complications.


Odebiyi, O. M., & Sunal, C. S. (2020). A global perspective? Framing analysis of US textbooks’ discussion of Nigeria. The Journal of Social Studies Research.

Ejikeme, A. N., & Aneru, A. A. (2019). Role of librarians in using information dissemination techniques on the health and social implications of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria. Nigerian Libraries52(1), 112-125.

Omigbodun, O., Bella-Awusah, T., Groleau, D., Abdulmalik, J., Emma-Echiegu, N., Adedokun, B., & Omigbodun, A. (2020). Perceptions of the psychological experiences surrounding female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) among the Izzi in Southeast Nigeria. Transcultural Psychiatry57(1), 212-227.

Yaya, S., & Ghose, B. (2018). Female genital mutilation in Nigeria: A persisting challenge for women’s rights. Social Sciences7(12), 244.

Kimani, S., & Obianwu, O. (2020). Female genital mutilation/cutting: A review of laws and policies in Kenya and Nigeria.

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