Over 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation (FGM) in 30 countries across Africa and the Middle East, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to the organisation, while the practice is rampant in most African countries, there records of the FGM in South America, and the increasing number of migrants from Africa to the west is seeing an increase in the practice in western countries.
‘Current estimates (from surveys of women older than 15 years old) indicate that around 90% of female genital mutilation cases include either Types I (mainly clitoridectomy), II (excision) or IV (“nicking” without flesh removed), and about 10% (over 8 million women) are Type III (infibulation). Infibulation, which is the most severe form of FGM, is mostly practiced in the north-eastern region of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan. In West-Africa (Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, etc.), the tendency is to remove flesh (clitoridectomy and/or excision) without sewing the labia minora and/or majora together’ WHO says.
Although incidences of FGM have been reported in Cameroon, the government of Cameroon through the Ministry of Women Affairs have pushed against the practice especially in the North of the Country.
Some African countries however, have very high rates of FGM. According to WHO ‘The prevalence of female genital mutilation has been estimated from large-scale, national surveys asking women aged 15–49 years if they have themselves or their daughters have been cut. Considerable variations have been found between the countries, with prevalence rates over 80% in eight countries. Moreover, the prevalence varies among regions within countries, with ethnicity being the most influential factor’.