Key Findings

The prevalence of FGM/C among women aged 15–49 in Yemen is 18.5%.

75.4% of women aged 15–49 believe that FGM should be discontinued.


The governorates of Yemen with the highest prevalence are in the east of the country, particularly Al-Mhrah and Hadramout


83.8% of women who have had FGM/C were cut in the first week after birth


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


92.8% of women aged 15–49 were cut by traditional practitioners

Distribution of FGM/C across Yemen

Two of Yemen’s governorates (Al-Mhrah and Hadramout) have an FGM/C prevalence of 80% or higher, and both are in the far east of the country.  Prevalence at the governorate level ranges from less than 1% (Al-Baidha, Al-Jawf, Sana’a, Al-Mhweit and Aldhalae) to 84.7% (Al-Mhrah).  It should be noted that some of the data at governorate level is based on a small number of women and should be interpreted with caution.

There is little difference between the prevalence in urban (17.1%) and rural (19.2%) areas.  Women with no formal education or only a  basic education are more likely to have been cut than women with a secondary or higher level of education.  

Women in the lowest wealth quintile are more likely to have been cut (26.5%) than those in the highest wealth quintile (14%).  However, across the five wealth quintiles there is not a straightforward trend.

Distribution of FGM/C across Yemen

Click on the map to enlarge

Trends in FGM/C Prevalence in Yemen

Trends in FGM/C Prevalence in Yemen

Click on the graph to enlarge

Measurements of FGM/C prevalence prior to 2013 were restricted to women who had been married at any time, meaning that a direct comparison cannot be made.  However, breaking down the most recent data by age group shows that the prevalence among women aged 45–49 is 22.8%, while among the youngest age group this has fallen to 16.4%.  Despite the fact that a small proportion of women may be cut after the age of 15, the data suggests a trend towards less frequent cutting among younger women.

FGM/C Legislation in Yemen

There is currently no national legislation in Yemen that specifically criminalises and punishes the practice of FGM/C.  In April 2014 a child rights bill was proposed to ban FGM/C and include prison sentences and fines for offenders.  It was submitted for ministerial review; however, the bill is still reportedly pending a decision.

Development Indicators

Population Growth

30,540,841 (as at 29 July 2020), with a 2.04% growth rate (2020 est.)

Infant mortality

42.9 deaths per 1,000 live births (2019)

Maternal mortality

164 deaths per 100,000 live births (2017)

SDG Gender Index

Ranked 142 out of 144 countries with a score of 39.3% (2022)