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"With the dignity, health and well-being of millions of girls at stake, there is no time to waste. Together, we can and must end this harmful practice." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
FGM/C is the "any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organ for nonmedical reasons." The World Health Organization (WHO) 1997.
Female genital mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of FGM/C.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. This day is observed to enhance awareness of the issue and to encourage concrete actions against the practice.
FGM/C Key Facts and Situation in Nigeria
  • Globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.
  • An estimated 19.9 million Nigerian women have undergone FGM/C
    • meaning that approximately 16% of the 125 million FGM/C survivors worldwide are Nigerians (NPoPC 2014)
  • Overall prevalence of FGM/C among girls and women aged 15-49 years in Nigeria (27%) is lower than in many countries (NDHS 2013).
However, due to its large population, Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of women and girls (19.9 million) who have undergone FGM/C worldwide (after Egypt and Ethiopia)
       The 2013 NDHS collected information about FGM/C in Nigeria from all women age 15-49yrs. The topics covered included knowledge and prevalence of FGM/C, type of circumcision, age at circumcision, and attitudes toward the practice of circumcision.
  1. 27% of women age 15-49 has been circumcised.
  2. 82% of women in Nigeria undergo FGM before age 5.
  3. FGM is more prevalent in the southern zones than in the northern zones.  States with the highest prevalence Osun (77%), Ebonyi (74%) , Ekiti (72%), Imo (68%) and Oyo (66%)
  4. Knowledge of FGM is higher among Yoruba women than among women in any other ethnic group in Nigeria.
  5. FGM is most prevalent among Yoruba women (55%), followed by Igbo women (45%)
  6. Infibulation is more prevalent in Nasarawa (22%), Kaduna (21%), and Bayelsa (20%) than in other states.
  7. Proportion of FGM among girls age 0-14 is higher among those whose mothers have also been circumcised.
  8. The higher a mother’s level of education, the less likely her daughter has been circumcised.
  9. 26% of girls age 0-14 whose mothers were infibulated were also circumcised and had their genital area sewn closed.
  10. 87% of girls age 0-14 and 80% of women age 15-49 were cut by a traditional agent (Circumciser, TBA, & others). 12% of girls and 13% of women were cut by a medical professional (Doctor, Nurse/Midwife and others)
  11. 68% of women and 57 % of men who have heard of FGM believe that the practice is not required by their religion.
  12. 64% of women and 62% of men think that the practice of FGM should not continue.
Why is FGM performed in Nigeria?
  1. Sexuality: preservation of virginity until marriage.
  2. Marriageability: undergoing FGM improves chances of marriage in some societies.
  3. Economics: FGM is an incomegenerating activity for the women who perform it, and their profession brings them high status within their communities.
  4. Tradition: preserving and continuing a set of values and rituals in a community.
  5. Rite of passage from girlhood into womanhood
  6. Religion: (though no religion includes FGM as a requirement).
  7. Cultural aesthetic reasons: in some communities, normal female genitals are considered ugly, unclean and unattractive unless they are subjected to FGM.
Myths and beliefs: some communities believe that the clitoris contains powers strong enough to damage a man’s penis or to kill a baby during childbirth

  1. Severe pain
  2. Serious bleeding
  3. Infection of the wound
  4. Trauma
  5. Problems urinating
  6. Tetanus and other infectious diseases, such as HIV, from unsterilized cutting tools
  7. Death
  1. Infections (e.g. genital abscesses)
  2. Problems having sex.(e.g. pain).
  3. Depression and anxiety
  4. Painful menstrual periods
  5. Urinary problems
  6. Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) or Recto Vaginal Fistula (RVF)
  7. Problems in childbirth (need to cut the vagina to allow delivery and the trauma that results, often compounded by re-stitching)
          FGM/C is carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women.
          In Africa, over 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk for FGM/C annually. 
          More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM/C is concentrated.
Is FGM/C against the LAW?
          There is a federal law outlawing the practice of FGM in Nigeria. The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP), 2015

  • Girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut, with the highest prevalence of FGM among this age in Gambia at 56 per cent, Mauritania 54 per cent and Indonesia where around half of girls aged 11 and younger have undergone the practice.
  • Countries with the highest prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 49 are Somalia 98 per cent, Guinea 97 per cent and Djibouti 93 per cent.
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 calls for an end to FGM by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • The elimination of FGM has been called for by numerous inter-governmental organizations, including the African Union, the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as in three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly
Female genital mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death.
To promote the abandonment of FGM/C, coordinated and systematic efforts are needed, and they must engage whole communities and focus on human rights and gender equality. These efforts should emphasize societal dialogue and the empowerment of communities to act collectively to end the practice. They must also address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences.

Today; ifASHAN ( Adolescent Support and Health Advancement in Nigeria) is joining the UN bodies to mark the 2018 International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM/C
 Locations of today's Events ( 6th Feb; 2018)
  1. Parade Lecture on FGM/C - by the Head of Peace and Conflict Resolution, NSCDC, FCT-Kuje Command ( Officer Ade)
  2. Campus Symposium on FGM/C , LAUTECH , Ogbomoso , Oyo State  (500 Level Student Iyanu)
  3. Secondary School Enlightenment on FGM/C , Gasau, Zamfara State ( Corper Victoria)
  4. Palace and National Museum Enlightenment on FGM/C , Ife Osun State ( Prince Aderoju) 

For further Inquiry, call: Ope0907 6999919 0817 5599999 or tweet @ifashangr or email 


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