Our Latest Research

Legislative and Policy Framework Options for Somalia (2023, English)

This research, undertaken by Orchid Project, was commissioned by Ifrah Foundation with the purpose of scoping the parameters which have been present, and potentially influential, in reducing FGM/C prevalence in countries neighbouring Somalia. The purpose was to better understand the structures which have influenced and/or supported the introduction of FGM/C legislation and policy. The report finds that legislation and policy frameworks are correlated with reductions in prevalence of FGM/C, however, the relationship between them varies. What can be seen clearly from the data is that the legislation and policy frameworks have not had an influence in Somali communities where prevalence has remained high over time. Legislation against FGM/C creates the opportunity for regulatory provisions such as the right to education for girls, responsibilities of healthcare workers and roles and functions of religious and community leaders. It also creates a mandate for coordination of the FGM/C response between a wide variety of stakeholders. However, given the strong prevalence rates and support for continuation of the practice of FGM/C, a zero tolerance law is likely to have unintended negative consequences — driving the practice underground, increasing medicalisation and reducing the age of cutting.

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FGM/C in Ethiopia: Country Profile Update (2023, English)

This Country Profile Update provides comprehensive information on the most recent trends and data on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Ethiopia. It includes an analysis of the current political situation, legal frameworks and programmes to make recommendations on how to move toward eradicating the practice. This report serves as an update to 28 Too Many’s 2013 Country ProfileThe prevalence of FGM/C in Ethiopia appears to be decreasing. According to DHS reports, it has reduced from 79.9% of women aged 1549 in 2000 to 74.3% in 2005 and to 65.2% in 2016. However, one concern is that the population of Ethiopia is growing, resulting in an increase in the number of girls at risk.

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FGM/C in Nigeria: Country Profile Update (2023, English)

This Country Profile Update provides comprehensive information on the most recent trends and data on FGM/C in Nigeria. It includes an analysis of the current political situation, legal frameworks and programmes to make recommendations on how to move towards eradicating the practice. This report serves as an update to 28 Too Many’s 2006 Country Profile

The prevalence of FGM/C in Nigeria appears to be decreasing. In 2013, 24.8% of women aged 1549 years had been cut, and in 2018 this figure was down to 19.5%. In 2018, 13.7% of women in Nigeria aged 1519 had undergone FGM/C, as opposed to 31.0% of women aged 4549. However, there is some evidence from interviews conducted in Nigeria that at least part of the reported decrease is due to social desirability bias and community self-surveillance of cutting, as a result of which women will be more reluctant to report that they have been cut.

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FGM/C in Mali: Country Profile Update (2022, English)

This Country Profile Update provides comprehensive information on the most recent trends and data on FGM/C in Mali. It includes an analysis of the latest available FGM/C prevalence data. This report serves as an update to the 2014 Mali Country Profile. According to the DHS 2018, the percentage of women and girls aged 15–49 who have undergone FGM/C is 88.6% The prevalence of FGM/C in Mali has not changed significantly since the previous DHS survey in 2012 when it was 91.4%. 

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About the Initiative

The FGM/C Research Initiative is hosted by Orchid Project. It builds on the legacy of 28 Too Many by commissioning and curating global research on the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting.

What is FGM/C?

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is a harmful traditional practice involving the cutting or removal of the external female genitalia. It has existed for more than 2,000 years and is performed on girls from birth up to just before marriage and sometimes beyond. FGM/C is also known as "female circumcision" and by other terms locally


The World Health Organisation classifies the practice into four types

Clitoridectomy

Type I: Partial or total removal of the (external) clitoris and/or the prepuce.

Excision

Type II: Partial or total removal of the (external) clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.

Infibulation

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

Other

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