Lead Author: WOUANGO Josephine
Published by: Population Council
Year published: 2020

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is recognized globally for being associated with risks to both the physical and psychological health of girls and women; it is also considered to be a violation of human rights. At present, an estimated 200 million girls and women in 30 countries have undergone FGM/C and as many as 30 million under-15 girls are at risk. A common policy response to FGM/C is to enact laws and enforce criminal prohibitions. This policy brief summarizes key findings from a cross-border study of two neighboring countries: Burkina Faso, which has a strong FGM/C law, and Mali, which has no specific FGM/C law. The aim of the cross-border study was to explore and compare attitudes and tendencies toward obeying the law and continuing FGM/C practices and to understand the effectiveness of criminal law in combatting FGM/C in both countries.