Intended for healthcare professionals


Fewer younger women are undergoing female genital mutilation, study finds

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 25 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4754
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The practice of female genital mutilation is becoming less widespread in countries with low prevalence of the practice, prompting the children’s charity Unicef to say there are strong signs it will become a “vestige of the past.”

A statistical report on the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is most prevalent shows that in some countries the practice is declining rapidly.1 Researchers used 70 household surveys conducted over a 20 year period, as well as carrying out new surveys, to look at the changing landscape surrounding female genital mutilation.

Researchers asked women and girls aged 15 to 19 years whether they had undergone the procedure, which in most cases takes place before the age of 10. They asked the same question …

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