Africa, Middle East see decline in female genital mutilation/cutting, U.N. data show

Published on February 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM · No Comments

"Changing attitudes have resulted in a decline in female genital mutilation in Africa and the Middle East, where the practice is most prevalent, according to United Nations data released on" the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, observed February 6, TrustLaw reports (Mollins, 2/6). According to a WHO press release, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) "refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons" (2/6). "In 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where FGM/C is concentrated, 36 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 29 have been cut compared to an estimated 53 percent of women between 45 and 49, according to the latest data released by the U.N. Children's Fund and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA)," the U.N. News Centre writes, adding, "While progress has been made, the [WHO] warned that some three million girls are at risk every year and 140 million have been affected by the practice" (2/6).

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