The facts about female genital mutilation – interactive How many girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa and the Middle East? Where is the practice most prevalent? How does it vary between countries? • 125 million mutilated women and girls

Unicef has published what it describes as the most comprehensive compilation of data and analysis on the prevalence of female genital mutilation in Africa and the Middle East. Using more than 70 national surveys, produced over a period of more than 20 years, the report, Female genital mutilation/cutting: a statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change (pdf), focuses on the 29 countries where the practice is most common. Eighteen of these countries are in west and central Africa.

According to the report, published on Monday, 30 million girls are at risk of being cut over the next decade. While the practice is declining in some countries, it remains almost universal in Somalia, Guinea and Egypt. But attitudes are shifting, which more people wanting the practice to stop, unicef found.

In the wider population, 31% of females are in favour of FGM.

Doctors, nurses and other health workers perform 2% of FGM procedures. Traditional practitioners account for 97% of procedures.

The above is based on 2005 data collected by DHS.

Update: For the section on how many procedures are performed by health workers as opposed to traditional practitioners, a previous version of this interactive referred to data on procedures undergone by women 15-49. This has been replaced with data on procedures undergone by ‘daughters’ – for a precise definition, refer to the statistical annex of the report.


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