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FACTBOX: How prevalent is FGM?

Source: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 04:00 PM
A group of Maasai women listen during a campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kilgoris in Trans Mara District, in 2007. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna
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LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than 125 million girls and women have undergone some form of female genital mutilation (FGM) in 29 countries across Africa and the Middle East, according to a major UNICEF report. Another 30 million girls are at risk of being cut in the next decade.

Below are some of the report's findings on FGM, which show how attitudes to the practice vary:

MALI: 58 percent of girls who have been cut have mothers who oppose the practice

BURKINA FASO: 76 percent of girls and women have been cut, but only 9 percent favour continuing FGM

KENYA: 59 percent of girls and women who have been cut see no benefit in FGM

GUINEA: 42 percent of boys and men think FGM should stop compared to 19 percent of girls and women

CAMEROON: 85 percent of boys and men think FGM should stop

SIERRA LEONE: 51 percent of couples do not agree on whether FGM should continue or stop

NIGERIA: Around a third of people report they do not know what the opposite sex thinks about FGM

SOMALIA: 63 percent of girls who have had FGM had their genitalia sewn closed

EGYPT: 77 percent of those who underwent FGM were cut by a medical professional

YEMEN: In 97 percent of cases, girls underwent FGM in their homes and 75 percent were cut with a blade or razor

MAURITANIA: On average girls are cut when they are just one month old

TOGO: 21 percent of Muslim girls and women have undergone FGM, compared to 1 percent of Christians

NIGER: 55 percent of Christian girls and women have undergone FGM, compared to 2 percent of Muslims


FGM prevalence in Africa and the Middle East

Very high prevalence rates (percentages in brackets)

Somalia (98), Guinea (96), Djibouti (93), Egypt (91), Eritrea (89), Mali (89), Sierra Leone (88), Sudan (88)

Medium to high

Burkina Faso (76), Gambia (76), Ethiopia (74), Mauritania (69), Liberia (66), Guinea-Bissau (50)

Moderate to medium

Chad (44), Ivory Coast (38), Kenya (27), Nigeria (27), Senegal (26), Central African Republic (24), Yemen (23)


Tanzania (15), Benin (13), Iraq (8), Ghana (4), Togo (4), Niger (2), Cameroon (1), Uganda (1)


(FGM is practised in a handful of other countries, most notably Indonesia, but the UNICEF report excluded them because of a lack of data.)








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