What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice has no health benefits for girls and women

Who is at risk?

  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and adolescence, and occasionally on adult women
  • More than 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk for FGM annually
  • More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to the practice, according to data from 30 countries where population data exist
  • The practice is mainly concentrated in the Western, Eastern, and North-Eastern regions of Africa
  •  In some countries the Middle East and Asia
  •  As well as among migrants from these areas
  •  FGM is therefore a global concern

Types of FGM

Female genital mutilation is classified into 4 major types:

  •  Type 1: this is the partial or total removal of the clitoral glans (the external and visible part of the clitoris, which is a sensitive part of the female genitals), and/or the prepuce/ clitoral hood (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoral glans).
  •  Type 2: this is the partial or total removal of the clitoral glans and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva), with or without removal of the labia majora (the outer folds of skin of the vulva ).
  •  Type 3: Also known as infibulation, this is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoral prepuce/clitoral hood and glans .
  •  Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

Credit: WHO




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