Where is FGM Practiced?

Prevalence and Distribution

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in the countries where the practice is concentrated. An estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM mutilation every year and the majority of girls are cut before they turn 15 years old.

Female genital mutilation has been documented in 30 countries, mainly in Africa, as well as in the Middle East and Asia. Some forms of FGM have also been reported in other countries, including among certain ethnic groups in South America. Growing migration and the refugee diaspora has also recently increased the number of girls and women living outside their country of origin who have undergone FGM or who may be at risk of being subjected to the practice in countries such as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.

The type of FGM performed varies with ethnic group. Current WHO estimates indicate that around 90% of FGM cases include either Types I, II or IV and about 10% (over 8 million women) have Type III (infibulation). Infibulation, which is the most severe form of FGM with a higher rate of complications, is mostly practiced in the north-eastern region of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan and is practised among as many as 90% of women from some of these countries.

Estimated prevalence of FGM in Africa

Countries

Prevalence by Age (%)

15-49

15-19

45-49

Benin

7.3

2

12

Burkina Faso

75.8

57.7

89.3

Cameroon

1.4

0.4

2.4

Central African Rep.

24.2

17.9

33.8

Chad

44.2

41

47.6

Cote d’lvoire

38.2

31.3

46.9

Dijbouti

93.1

89.5

94.4

Egypt

91.1

80.7

96

Eritrea

88.7

78.3

95

Ethiopia

74.3

62.1

80.8

Gambia

76.3

77.1

79

Ghana

3.8

1.5

6.4

Guinea

95.6

89.3

99.5

Guinea-Bissau

49.8

48.4

50.3

Iraq

8.1

4.9

10.3

Kenya

27.1

14.6

48.8

Liberia

58.2

35.9

78.9

Mali

88.5

87.7

88.5

Mauritania

69.4

65.9

75.2

Niger

2

1.4

1.4

Nigeria

27

18.7

38

Senegal

25.7

24

28.5

Sierra Leone

88.3

70.1

96.4

Somalia

97.9

96.7

99.1

Sudan

87.6

83.7

89.1

Tanzania

14.6

7.1

21.5

Togo

3.9

1.1

6.7

Uganda

1.4

1

1.9

Yemen

38.2

Source: Population Reference Bureau (2014). Female Genital Mutilation/cutting: Data and Trends.

Percentage of girls and women aged 15–49 with FGM

FGM Prevalence: Percentage of girls and women aged 15–49 with FGM in the 29 African countries in which it is concentrated

Percentage of girls and women aged 15–49 with FGM

Contact us

The FGM Education Programme
PO Box 99350, Newmarket 1149,
Auckland, New Zealand