The practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) has been documented in many countries in Africa and in several countries in Asia and the Middle East, yet producing reliable data concerning its prevalence and the numbers of girls and women affected has proved a major challenge. This study provides estimates of the total number of women aged 15 years and older who have undergone FGM/C in 27 African countries and Yemen. Drawing on national population-based survey data regarding FGM/C prevalence and census data regarding the number of women in each country, we find that almost 87 million girls and women aged 15 and older have been cut in these 28 countries. Producing reliable figures for the number of women affected by FGM/C in these countries allows researchers and program directors to better comprehend the impact of the practice and to mobilize resources for advocacy against it.
© 2013 The Population Council, Inc.