Prevalence study about women who underwent FGM and girls at risk of being cut in Belgium
Étude de prévalence des femmes excisée et des filles à risque d’excision en Belgique
As of June 2014, Belgium has published three FGM prevalence and risk estimations (2003, 2008, 2012). The most recent study report dates from 2014 and refers to data from 2012.The main sources of information were the statistical office, the birth registration office, and the foreign affairs department. These organisations provided data on the female population originating from FGM-risk countries living in Belgium. The number of women living in Belgium and originating from countries where FGM is practised (first generation) and the number of girls born from these mothers (second generation) was assessed. Then, the prevalence per age cohort from country of origin was extrapolated on women and girls living in Belgium. The extrapolation was based on FGM prevalence data of DHS and MICS for the age cohort 15-49 years.
At the end of 2012 it was estimated that 13,112 girls and women probably have undergone FGM, while 4,084 were at risk of being cut. This represents a sharp increase in the numbers, as in 2008 it was estimated that 6,260 women and girls had undergone the practice, and 1,975 were at risk.
Dominique DUBOURG and Fabienne RICHARD
Year of data collection
Female population originating from FGM-risk countries living in Belgium
Prevalence data on FGM
At the end of 2012 it was estimated that 13,112 girls and women probably have undergone FGM, while 4,084 were at risk of being cut.
Disaggregated data per country of origin
28 countries where FGM is documented.
Disaggregated data per age
< 5, 5-19, 20-49, > 50
Regions in Belgium (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels)
Limitations of study
The limitations mentioned in the report relate to the lack of data on undocumented women and on ethnic background (as the practice of FGM is rather linked to ethnicity, than to nationality), and to the incompleteness of certain data sources ('Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance' and 'Kind en Gezin') as original nationality of the mother was sometimes lacking. The report also mentions that the influence of migration or other factors (family, community and the impact of the law) were not assessed.