1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. West Africa
  4. Guinea

Female genital mutilation of girls on the decrease, says World Bank

New cases of female genital mutilation of young girls in Guinea, which was banned by government in 1984, have been reduced to 20 per cent, while over 450 female circumcisers have abandoned the practise since 1998, the World Bank said in a report on Tuesday.

The reduction in reported cases, it said, has resulted mainly from a vigorous campaign by a bank-funded project 'Ending Female Genital Mutilation' - implemented through a women's rights NGO, CPTAFE as well as the outspokenness of top government officials and Guinea's First Lady.

"Female circumcision in Guinea has traditionally been carried out by older, well-respected women within individual communities. In summer season, a circumciser can perform as many as 380 circumcisions on young girls aged 8 to 15," the World Bank said in its Development Marketplace report. It quoted Tshiya Subayi, operations analyst as saying: "The circumcisers are powerful women whom people go to for advice, and they're listened to," .

The Development Marketplace, which supports social entrepreneurs globally, last year awarded the project US $150,000 to provide circumcisers with training in alternative sources of livelihood and access to small business start-up funds. An additional US $250,000 was provided by the government of Guinea. CPTAFE then started a public awareness campaign, trained former circumcisers, and granted them US $1,000 each to start income generating activities.

"In Guinea, as in most West African nations, female genital cutting was common practice, said the report. While the government enacted legislation banning the practice in 1984, the law was only recently enforced.

"The campaign has contributed heavily to reducing the number of new circumcisions to roughly 20 percent of young girls nationwide," Subayi is quoted as saying the project is now seeking funding to expand to Benin, Burkina Faso, and Djibouti, and to integrate awareness campaigns into World Bank health and education programmes. This has happened in Mali and Senegal.

Female genital mutilation, which involves the cutting of parts of female genital organs, is a dangerous practise which often leads to excessive bleeding, death, chronic infections, sterility, and serious complications in childbirth.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.