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Female genital mutilation/cutting

Female genital mutilation/cutting

World Fit for Children target: End harmful traditional or customary practices, such as [...] female genital mutilation, which violate the rights of children and women

UNICEF estimates that 70 million girls and women aged 15–49 in 27 countries of Africa and the Middle East have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).The prevalence of FGM/C has declined slowly but steadily during the past 15 years. Older girls and younger women are less likely to have experienced any form of FGM/C than older women.

FGM/C violates girls’ and women’s human rights, denying them their physical and mental integrity, their right to freedom from violence and discrimination and, in the most extreme cases, their lives.

Lowered prevalences of FGM/C may reflect the impact of legislation, policy changes at the national level and actions at the community level. Because of societal pressures, individuals who oppose FGM/C may be unable to abandon the practice. Abandonment on a large scale requires a collective approach.

 

OLDER GIRLS AND YOUNGER WOMEN LESS LIKELY THAN OLDER WOMEN TO HAVE EXPERIENCED FGM/C

Prevalence of FGM/C among girls and women by age group, in 26 countries where these data were available (1997–2006)

 

FGM/C RATES VARY BY ETHNICITY AND ACROSS AND WITHIN COUNTRIES

Percentage of girls and women aged 15–49 who have experienced FGM/C, in 27 countries of Africa and the Middle East (1997–2006)

 

THE PRACTICE OF FGM/C MAY PERSIST DESPITE WEAK SUPPORT FOR IT

Levels of support for FGM/C among girls and women and its prevalence among daughters, in eight countries where the level of support is lower than the prevalence (1997–2006)

 

Source for figures on this page: UNICEF global databases, 2007, based on MICS, DHS and other national surveys in 27 countries, 1997–2006. Analysis of prevalence by age group is based on survey data in 26 countries.