Where is FGM Practiced

Prevalence and distribution

One or more types of FGM are practised in more than 29 African countries and also by ethnic groups in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula and along the Persian Gulf. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also reported FGM has occurred in India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Israel, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates. There are also anecdotal reports FGM occurs in several other countries including Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oman, Peru and Sri Lanka.

WHO estimates that between 100 and 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to one of the first three types of female genital mutilation. There are an estimated 3 million girls in Africa at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation every year.

Many refugee communities have resettled in Western countries and FGM is thought to be increasingly practised in refugee camps and some Western countries. The most common types of FGM are excision of the clitoris (Type 1), and excision of the clitoris and labia minora (Type 2) — accounting for up to 80% of all cases. The most extreme type is infibulation (Type 3), which constitutes about 15% of all procedures, but is practised among as many as 90% of women from Somalia, Djibouti and Northern Sudan — with a consequently higher rate of complications.


Estimated prevalence of FGM by age and country in Africa

FGM Prevalence Table 20.11.15

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


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


FGM prevalence UNICEF 2015


Source: UNICEF 2014