FGM: Talking about numbers

05. Februar 2016, von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

This was written by WADI in 2012, when still everyone was taling about 140Million girls, who are mutilated worldwide:

The number 140 million is currently the common official figure of women in the world that have undergone a procedure known as female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is defined by the World Health Organization as “partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. 140 million is a very large and deplorable number, yet today we must seriously begin to consider the possibility that the number of genitally mutilated women in the world is, in fact, much higher. How so? 140 million is the estimation primarily for Africa; but growing evidence suggests that FGM is not only an “African problem” – it may well be widespread in various parts of Asia – including the Middle East. Finding out more about the real measures of the practice beyond Africa should be on the agenda of the international bodies and campaigns against FGM in 2013 and in the years to come.

For years no one was listening, but thanks to the great work done by so many activists in Iraq, Iran, Oman, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and other countries even UNICEF has to admit now that their old numbers were inaccurate, although they just include Indonesia now, while still refusing to  acknowledge the widespread existence of FGM in other South Asian and Middle Eastern countries as well as in India, Pakistan and the Maldives:

The huge global scale of female genital mutilation has been revealed in disturbing new statistics, which show at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone ritual cutting, half of them living in just three countries.

The latest worldwide figures, compiled by Unicef, include nearly 70 million more girls and women than estimated in 2014 because of a raft of new data collected in Indonesia, one of the countries where FGM is most prevalent despite the practice being banned since 2006.

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