How prevalent is female genital cutting/mutilation in the world

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.
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." For more details, send an email to


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