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Introduction
FGC Around the World

Table and definitions compiled and authored by H. L. DIETRICH

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COUNTRY

PREVALENCE (%)

TYPE PERFORMED

Benin

16.8

II

Burkina Faso

76.6

II – Performed throughout the country in all but a few provinces.

Cameroon

1

I, II

Central African Republic

35.9

I, II

Chad

44.9

II – Widely practiced in all parts of Chad.

III – Confined to areas bordering Sudan in the eastern part of the country.

Cote d’Ivoire
(Ivory Coast)

44.5

II

Djibouti

90-98

II – Performed on girls of Yemeni origin.

III – Most common among the Issa and Afar.

DRC (Congo)

Unknown

II

Egypt

97.3%

I, II, III

Eritrea

88.7

I, II, III

Ethiopia

79.9

I – Commonly practiced among Amharas, Tigrayans and the Jeberti Muslims living in Tigray.

II – Most commonly practiced form.  The Gurages, some Tigrayans, Oromos and the Shankilas practice this form.

III – Practiced in the eastern Muslim regions bordering Sudan and Somalia.

IV – Referred to as “Mariam Girz” in Ethiopia, it is practiced mainly in Gojam in the Amhara region.

Gambia

60-90

I – The Sarahulis perform this on girls one week after birth.  The Bambaras perform the procedure on girls between 10-15 years of age.

II – Nearly all Mandinkas, Jolas and Hausas practice this form on girls 10-15 years old.

III – The Fulas perform a procedure similar to Type III that is described as “vaginal sealing” on girls from one week old to 18 years old.

IV – The Fulas perform this type on girls from one week old to 18 years old.

Ghana

5.4

I, II, III

Guinea

98.6

I, II, III, IV

Indonesia

100

I, IV

Kenya

32.2

I and II most common.

III – found in the far eastern areas bordering Somalia.

Liberia

50

II

Mali

91.6

I, II, III

(Type III practiced in southern areas of country)

Mauritania

71.5

I, II

Niger

4.5

II

Nigeria

19

I, II, III, IV

(Type I and II more prominent in the south; Type III more prominent in north)

Senegal

28.2

II, III

(Type II is most common)

Sierra Leone

80-90

II

Somalia

90-98

I – practiced mainly in the coastal towns of Mogadishu, Brava, Merca, and Kismayu.

III – Approximately 80% of the circumcisions are this type.

Sudan

90

I, II, III

(Type III is most common)

Tanzania

17.7

II, III

Togo

12

II

Uganda

5

No information available.

Yemen

22.6

II, III

Resources:

Amnesty International
Demographic Health Surveys (DHS)
UNICEF
USAID
US Dept. of State
World Health Organization

DEFINITIONS OF TYPES OF FGC/FC :

Type ICircumcision is the excision (removal) of the prepuce (clitoral hood) with or without removal of a part of the clitoris (a.k.a. sunna circumcision). 

Type IIExcision or clitoridectomy is the excision of the clitoris together with part or all of the labia minora (the inner vaginal lips).

Type IIIInfibulation is the excision of part or all of the external genitalia (clitoris, labia minora and labia majora) and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, leaving a very small opening, about the size of a matchstick, to allow for the flow of urine and menstrual blood.  The girl or woman’s legs are generally bound together from the hip to the ankle so she remains immobile for approximately 40 days to allow for the formation of scar tissue (referred to as Sudanese circumcision in Egypt; referred to as Pharaonic circumcision in Somalia).

Type IVUnclassified includes the pricking, piercing or incision of the clitoris and/or labia; also includes symbolic rituals. The application or insertion of corrosive substances into the vagina is also considered Type IV.

Defibulation  or deinfibulation – Cutting open the scar tissue that has formed around the vaginal opening to allow penetration by her husband or for the birth of a child.

Refibulation or reinfibulation or recircumcision – The sewing up of a circumcised woman’s vaginal opening after childbirth or periodically during her life when she feels as though her opening has gotten too big or loose.

Alternative rituals – An alternative to FGM in which the traditional ceremony takes place without the actual cutting.  In Kenya, girls go through a week-long program designed as a coming-of-age workshop.  This ritual is called “Ntanira Na Mugambo” or “Circumcision Through Words.”
 
Introcision – A form of FGM/C that is practiced by the Pitta-Patta aborigines of Australia where the vaginal orifice is enlarged by tearing it downward with three fingers bound with an opossum string.  The procedure is performed by an elderly man when the girl reaches puberty.  In other districts, the perineum is split with a stone knife.  Compulsory sexual intercourse with a number of young men usually follows the introcision.  Mexico, Brazil, and Peru reportedly practice this form of FGM/C.  In Peru, among a division of Pano Indians, an elderly woman uses a bamboo knife to cut around the hymen from the vaginal entrance and severs the hymen from the labia, at the same time exposing the clitoris.  Medicinal herbs are applied, followed by the insertion of a phallic clay object into the vagina.

Resources:

Ipu.org
US Dept. of State
Womenaid.org

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