The true extent of female genital mutilation or cutting is huge and revealed on Monday in a report from Unicef (pdf). It says a total of 125 million women and girls are now living with the consequences of FGM – and yet the report suggests that the practice continues only because of social convention, while most women and men wish it would end. There are 29 countries in Africa where FGM is now practiced but over half the girls who are cut live in just three – Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria.
In terms of the percentage of girl who are cut, Egypt is in fourth place, below Somalia on 98%, Guinea on 96% and Djibouti on 93%. At the bottom end of the scale, in Uganda and Cameroon, just 1% of girls are cut. In more than half the 29 countries studied, Unicef says FGM is becoming slightly less common – in Kenya and Tanzania, the older generation of 45- to 49-year-old women are three times more likely to have undergone FGM than today’s 15- and 16-year-olds.
(From MWB News)