Recent Figures Reveal 'FGM Is Not Just An African Issue'

Jenny Proudfoot

New statistics uncover the true extent of Female Genital Mutilation. And the results are absolutely shocking...



Saturday marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation with up to date FGM figures collated in its run up. The disturbing new statistics were much higher than expected, revealing the depressingly large global scale of FGM.

The new figures reveal that at least 200 million women alive today have suffered genital mutilation, a shocking 70 million higher than previously thought according to UNICEF. The big increase is without question due to Indonesia’s recent inclusion with 60 million women and girls affected – by far the highest in the world.

‘FGM is not just an African issue’ stated Mary Wandia, the FGM Program Manager at Equality Now. ‘Having new data on the prevalence of FGM in Indonesia included in the new report is incredibly important. Its government should now be held accountable for this huge failure, which has helped to legitimize FGM, causing enormous suffering for girls and women’.

Despite its prevalence in developing countries, the recent figures have revealed that the illegal act is still a constant in the UK too with an FGM case reported in England every 109 minutes. ‘FGM has been a hidden danger threatening girls in the UK and around the world – only now is the full scale becoming clear’ explained Tanya Barron, Chief executive of Plan UK.

Although efforts to eliminate FGM are proving successful, Mary Wandia explains that ‘the growing population in countries with higher prevalence means that numbers have increased’. ‘Ending FGM within our lifetimes is possible, but we need to learn from those countries such as Kenya which are getting to grips with this extreme human rights violation and reducing prevalence quite dramatically. We cannot rest or lose momentum until every single girl at risk is protected’.

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