World Prevalence

It is estimated that 100-140 million women worldwide have undergone FGM, with the highest incidence in Africa where it is known to be practiced in 28 countries, some parts of Asia and the Middle East. 19 A study in 2007 indicated that 91.5 million women in Africa are currently living with the effects of FGM. 20 This study found that in Africa, seven countries have adopted this practice at a rate of over 85%, 4 countries at a rate of 60-85%, 7 countries at 30-40% and the remaining 9 countries at 0.6-28.2%. The type of FGM also varied between country, with 90% of cases involving type I, II and IV, and the remaining 10% undergoing the more extensive type III.

Blatentworld. (2010) Map showing approximate prevalence of FGM across Africa (Creative Commons License)21

National prevalence rates were calculated from the survey data (where available) and multiplied by the total number of women over the age of 15 in each country. It is very difficult to accurately estimate the number of women who have undergone FGM worldwide due to the possibility of women denying the illegal practice when surveyed, and not all countries had available survey data at all. 20

For details of UK prevalence click here