At least 100 million girls and women in reproductive age have suffered genital mutilation/cutting in 30 countries, according to a new scientific study.
Their number probably is even bigger as for some areas there are no exact figures.
Even though one is observed over time little tendency to decrease in most countries (in 26), scientists report that much more needs to be done to address the problem.
The researchers, led by Steven McCall of the American University of Beirut, who made the relevant publication in the medical journal “PLOS Medicine”, evaluated data from 30 studies, of which 23 were in Africa, six in the eastern Mediterranean and one in SE Asia. In total, the surveys involved 406,048 women from 30 countries and 296,267 girls from 25 countries. It found that almost 37% of women aged 15-49 and 8.3% of girls aged 0-15 had undergone FGM.
The mutilation in question is one extreme form of violence and inequality which violates the human rights of women and girls. According to the World Health Organization, it is a harmful non-medical traditional practice which has long-term health as well as economic consequences, which is why it calls for its end by 2030.
The new study (systematic review and meta-analysis) reports that several countries such as Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Indonesia, Mali and Guinea will not reach this target unless they take more drastic measures to to put an end to mutilations.