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Which Countries Practice Female Genital Cutting

Which Countries Practice Female Genital Mutilation
Mauritania Practices Female Genital Cutting

How many women have undergone female genital cutting FGC and female genital mutilation FGM.

More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where female genital mutilation is concentrated. While the exact number of girls and women. Worldwide who have undergone female genital mutilation remains unknown.

In what countries does female genital cutting take place besides Africa? 

Data collected in 2015 from household surveys show female genital mutilation exists in Yemen, Iraq, and Indonesia and in some places in South America such as Colombia, India, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The practice is also found in pockets of Europe and in Australia and North America. In most of the countries, the majority of girls were cut after the age of five. In Yemen, 85 percent of girls experienced female genital mutilation within their first week of life.

Where does organized religion stand on the practice of female genital cutting?

No written religious scripts advocate the practice, practitioners often believe the practice has religious support through tradition and traditional beliefs. Religious leaders take varying positions with regard to female genital mutilation.

What time of year does female genital mutilation usually take place?

In Northwest Tanzania and Southwest Kenya, December is known as cutting season. Female genital mutilation during the cutting season is illegally performed on girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts.  In the Mara Region, residents mainly practice nomadic pastoralism and some farming but tourism is the major economic activity in the district as it is the home of the world-famous Serengeti National Park.

However, around the award-winning beautiful Serengeti National Park greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, small African communities are illegally practicing female genital mutilation.

Studying to become a doctor in Kenya Africa

What is female genital mutilation?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to all practices involving partial or complete removal of or injury to the external sexual organs of women and girls for non-medical reasons.  The practice is generally carried out with a knife or a razor blade without anesthesia and in non-sterile conditions. There are four types of Female genital mutilation (FGM):

Type 1

Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce.

Type 2

Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.

Type 3

Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and repositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris.

Type 4

All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example, pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.

FGM is a traditional prerequisite to marriage amongst the Kurya people who live in the area, however, it has been illegal since 1998 but the practice is commonly done in secret. Kenyans living in the villages bordering Tanzania often took their girls to be cut in Tanzania.

There are financial, as well as cultural reasons, why so many parents support the FGM practice. The main reason is parents force girls to undergo FGM because they want dowry.  When girls are circumcised, their parents have already arranged for them to be married. When the girls finish the initiation, their parents introduce them to their husband, whose family gives them cows as dowry. In some communities in Kenya and Tanzania, women who have not undergone FGM are victims of social exclusion in the belief that a woman who has been cut demands a higher dowry for her parents and she will be more faithful to her husband.  The practice is illegal and the Tanzanian Serengeti government during the cutting season says there are immense challenges to stopping it. One commissioner stated, "The problem is that FGM is done secretly. It's difficult for police officers to safeguard every household to find out if it's happening or not."

However, in December 2013, approximately 38 women were arrested for carrying out illegal genital mutilation on a group of girls aged from 3 to 15. The women were arrested by the police as they performed a traditional dance around a house where 21 girls, ages 3 to 15, had recently undergone FGM.  Sentences for FGM can garner up to 15 years in prison.

Despite the arrests, in recent years, Kurya clan elders have guaranteed that no girl would undergo female genital mutilation, adopting an alternative rite of passage ritual. “We don’t want any problems with the government so we will use maize flour to signify a rite of passage for our girls instead of our normal ritual,” said James Nyamaka, one of the Kurya clan elders in Tarime.

Reported female genital mutilation Countries  

Percentage of girls aged 0 to 14 years who have undergone female genital mutilation

The Gambia 56%

Mauritania 54%

Guinea 46%

Eritrea 33%

Sudan 32%

Guinea-Bissau 30%

Ethiopia 24%

Nigeria 17%

Egypt 14%

Burkina Faso 13%

Sierra Leone 13%

Senegal 13%

Côte d’Ivoire 10%

Kenya 3%

Uganda 1%

The Central African Republic 1%

Ghana 1%

Togo 0.3%

Benin 0.2%

Reported female genital mutilation Countries   

Percentage of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years who have undergone female genital mutilation

Somalia 98%

Guinea 97%

Djibouti 93%

Sierra Leone 90%

Mali 89%

Egypt 87%

Sudan 87%

Eritrea 83%

Burkina Faso 76%

The Gambia 75%

Ethiopia 74%

Mauritania 69%

Liberia 50%

Guinea-Bissau 45%

Chad 44%

Côte d’Ivoire 38%

Nigeria 25%

Senegal 25%

The Central African Republic 24%

Kenya 21%

Tanzania 15%

Benin 9%

Togo 5%

Ghana 4%

Niger 2%

Uganda 1%

Cameroon 1%

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