1. Home
  2. Middle East and North Africa
  3. Saudi Arabia

A map of female genital mutilation rates globally

A map of prevalence rates of female genital mutiliation
A map of prevalence rates of female genital mutiliation (Joe Dyke/IRIN)

The UN estimates that over 140 million girls and women across the world have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), a term that covers a ranges of procedures, from trimming the clitoral hood, to removing almost the entire genitalia and partially sealing the vaginal opening.

To mark International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, IRIN has mapped out prevalence rates across Africa and the Middle East.

There has been little change in the frequency of FGM in the past decade, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and it seems that tougher laws will not necessarily solve the problem. Twenty-two of the 29 countries shown have some kind of law prohibiting FGM: Guinea, where prevalence is around 95 percent, banned it some 20 years ago. In fact the WHO has even warned that making it illegal could lead to parents making their daughters go under the knife younger.

Fanta Jatta Sowe, specialist on women's rights for ActionAid in Gambia - one of the countries where FGM is still legal - said a law would only help if people accepted it. “We need to educate people first for them to understand that FGM is not beneficial… but attitudes are changing, especially among the young.”

Click here to see the interactive map.

jd/am

Share this article
Join the discussion

Help make quality journalism about crises possible

The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.

 

Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story. 

 

We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises. Become a member of The New Humanitarian today

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.

Join