Key Findings

The prevalence of FGM/C among women aged 15–49 in Kenya is 14.8%.

92% of women and 93% of men aged 15–49 believe that FGM/C should be stopped.


The region with the highest prevalence is in the north-east


45.6% of women aged 15–49 who have undergone FGM/C were cut between the ages of 5 and 9.


‘Cut, flesh removed’ is the most common type of FGM/C practised (70.1%)


82% of FGM/C on women aged 15–49 was carried out by ‘traditional circumcisers’

Distribution of FGM/C across Kenya

Prevalence varies greatly depending on the region – the (former) province with the highest prevalence is North Eastern (97.5% of women aged 15–49), and the province with the lowest is Western (0.8%).  Prevalence is more common among women who live in rural areas, at 18.4%, than among women who live in urban areas, at 9.7%.

FGM/C is practised across all ethnic groups and religions, although to varying degrees.  The highest prevalences are among Muslim women (51.1% of women aged 15–49) and the Somali (86.9%), Kisii (70.9%), Maasai (56.7%), Somali (86.9%), and Samburu (75.9%).

92% of women aged 15–49 and 93% of men in the same age-range believe that FGM/C should not be continued.

Distribution of FGM/C across Kenya

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Trends in FGM Prevalence in Kenya

Trends in FGM Prevalence in Kenya

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The prevalence of FGM/C in Kenya has dropped from 37.6% of women aged 15–49 in 1998 to 21% in 2014 to 14.8 in 2021.  Due to the large age-range of women included, however, the overall prevalence alone may not fully reflect the progress that has been made in recent years.  

The progress toward ending FGM/C in Kenya is encouraging. Overall, the incidence of the practice is decreasing. However, there are aspects in Kenya that remain concerning. These include the medicalisation of the practice (in other words, FGM/C performed by healthcare workers), changes in the type of cutting performed (‘less severe’ types of FGM/C and the cutting of younger girls), hotspots where the practice continues, and cross-border FGM/C.

FGM/C Legislation in Kenya

The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, which came into effect on 4 October 2011, is the principal legislation governing FGM/C in Kenya.  It is a federal act criminalising all forms of FGM/C and is one of the most comprehensive in Africa.  Implementation and enforcement of the law remain a challenge, however.

Development Indicators

Population Growth

59,651,275 (as of 22 May 2024), with a 2.65% growth rate (2024 est.)

Infant Mortality

28 deaths per 1,000 live births (2021)

Maternal Mortality

530 deaths per 100,000 live births (2020)

SDG Gender Index

Ranked 110 out of 144 countries with a score of 56.2% (2022)

Latest Research

Reports Resources Articles

The Intersection of Economy and Tradition: Understanding FGM Prevalence in Samburu County, Kenya

Co-Author(s): BABU, Paul Kelvin
Published by: International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications
Year published: 2023

The “Uncut” Stigma: Debunking the Myths and Misconceptions that Promote Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya

Lead Author: MUKABI Fredrick
Published by: International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
Year published: 2022

Influence of Culture on Girl Child Education in Central Pokot Sub County, Kenya

Lead Author: ANDIEMA Nelly C.
Published by: East African Journal of Education Studies
Year published: 2021

Gender Based Violence Against Females in Narok County: The Dragon in their way to Achieving Education and Safety

Lead Author: JOSEPHINE Uhuru
Co-Author(s): LYDIAH Wamocha
Published by: International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications (IJSRP)
Year published: 2020