How prevalent is female genital cutting/mutilation in the world

Image Source: Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)
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According to UNICEF, at least 200 million girls and women who are alive today all over the world have undergone female genital cutting or mutilation (FGC/FGM). WHO states that, each year, at least 3 million girls are at risk of being subjected to the practice.

  • FGM is a worldwide problem. It is practiced in Latin America and Eastern Europe. It is also practiced among some immigrant populations in North America, Western Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Females who have been subjected to this practice are concentrated in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East – where FGM is concentrated.
  • Female genital cutting/mutilation can be found in 29 countries in Africa. FGC/FGM is not necessarily practiced by everyone in these countries. There are certain communities in each of the 29 African countries that practice it; they are found in: Somalia, Benin, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Togo, Chad, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea, Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, Liberia, Niger, and Mali.
  • The practice is highest in eight of the 29 African countries. In these eight countries, almost all girls undergo FGM: Somalia with a prevalence of 98%, Guinea (96%), Djibouti (93%), Egypt (91%), Eritrea and Mali both have a prevalence of 89%, and in both Sierra Leone and Sudan it is 88%.
  • In Nigeria, information gathered by UNFPA and UNICEF shows that the practice is highest in South-West Nigeria, despite the high level of awareness and literacy found in the area.
  • From research that was carried out, it was discovered that Osun had FGM prevalence of 76.3%, Ekiti had 71.2%, Oyo had 69.7%, Ebonyi had 55.6%, Imo had 48.8% and Lagos had 44.8%.
  • In the Middle East, FGM occurs in Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iran, Yemen, the State of Palestine and Iraq.
  • Certain communities in Asian countries – like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – also practice FGM.
  • Some of the communities in South America known to engage in the practice of FGM are Peru, Columbia, Panama and Ecuador.
  • It has also been reported that some communities in Eastern Europe practice FGM; they are found in the Russian Federation and Georgia.
  • The practice is carried out among the immigrant population in western countries – such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and various European countries.
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Somso Kizor enjoys words. She loves reading good books and writing - amongst other things. Somso is passionate about educating people about their health; as this would reduce the burden of diseases and deaths (hence, suffering) all over the world. Let's not forget the popular saying that goes "health is wealth."

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