What is FGM?

According to the World Health Organization female genital mutilation (FGM) “comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” It typically takes place between newborn to 15 or 16 years of age.

Over 125 MILLION women and girls have been mutilated, and that number continues to grow as 30 some countries perform this horrendous act.


This violation of human rights has deep roots in cultural or religious tradition and the overall view of women/girls in the community.

Not only is FGM is clear violation of human rights, but as it is forced upon children and young women by untrained persons, irreversible damage is done. These dangers include urination issues, deadly infections, infertility, severe bleeding, increased childbirth risks, and also leaves women open to needing repeated cutting to allow for intercourse or childbirth.

The WHO identifies four types of FGM that can be found described here.