Every ten seconds, it’s estimated that somewhere in the world, a little girl is mutilated.
There are no medical benefits to FGM, only harm.
The cutting is carried out without a doctor or anaesthetic, usually on girls between 5 and 8 years old.
We believe that together, we can end FGM worldwide by 2030. Are you in?


Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to 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.

The World Health Organisation has classified FGM into 4 types, ranging from least to most invasive. All are extremely harmful, distressing, and carry severe risk of complications inclusing infection.

FGM is recognized internationally as a human rights violation. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.

Type 1: Partial or total removal of the clitoris (also called clitoridectomy).

Type 2: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the inner folds of the vulva, and sometimes also the outer folds of skin of the vulva (also called excision).

Type 3: the narrowing of the vaginal opening following cutting to create a seal – often involving sewing. Often this leaves a very small opening for girls to urinate and menstruate, and requires cutting to make it possible to have intercourse or give birth.

Type 4: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.


“It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter, that I started to speak out against FGM. I didn’t want my daughter to ever have to go through what I had.

I also knew there were millions of girls out there, just like me and my daughter, and no one was speaking for them. If it wasn’t going to me, who else would do that?”

Right now, we are at a tipping point in the movement to end FGM. Not only do we have survivors who are taking the lead in fighting against FGM, we also have the political will across the African continent, and UN agencies that are doing more than ever before. Because we have created a movement where women are leading the change, I think we have a chance to make 2030 arrive early.”

– Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador


“I was subjected to FGM when I was 7.  My mum was there. The pain of peeing was beyond anything I’d known.

You will never end poverty or have peace if you pin girls down aged 5, cut them, break them and sell them for some cows.

Orgasms and sexual pleasure are a human right. I guard these things with my life.

Please stand with me in shaping a world free from abuse.”

– Nimco Ali, Special Advisor to UN Women UK


UN Women is working to accelerate ending FGM across the world. Our local staff work within communities alongside local women’s organisations, bringing people together to end FGM. We are doing this in 3 ways:

1. Running education programmes with religious leaders, families and cutters to increase understanding of the harmful effects of FGM, and challenge the need to continue this unnecessary practice.
2. Working with 19 million people in over 10,000 villages and communities to publicly declare an end to FGM.
3. Taking the insights and sharing the women’s voices from our work on the ground, and advocating with lawmakers to create national-level change and legislate against FGM – we’ve seen over 900 cases of legal enforcement as a result.

As well as this prevention work, we also work to support survivors of FGM with counselling, medical treatment and support to rebuild their lives. Currently we are in a phase of work aiming at reaching a further 8 million girls with these services.

WILL YOU BE PART OF THE CHANGE? Become a monthly donor and help save a girl every month.