The Decline of Female Genital Mutilation in Ethiopia and Kenya

Rates are declining but progress is slow and uneven across regions and demographics

Botege Sancha, the focal person for women issues in Ebot Trora kebele, saved Mekiya from undergoing FGM.


The abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM) has long been a priority for governments around the world and for international organizations.

There is growing evidence that overall, rates of FGM are declining across the globe. However, progress towards abandonment of the practice has been slow and uneven across and within countries.

This is particularly the case in Ethiopia and Kenya, where there have been marked decreases in national prevalence rates, but these declines have not taken place in all regions or amongst all demographic or social groups.

The purpose of this brief is to examine available data and secondary analyses from Ethiopia and Kenya in order to understand three main questions.

  1. What do studies tell us about the context and prevalence of FGM in each country?
  2. Which regions, communities, families and individuals are most affected and why?
  3. What are the programmatic and policy changes that are needed to increase rates of decline, especially in those regions where prevalence has remained high despite largescale intervention?
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