Listening to African Voices. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting among Immigrants in Hamburg: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice

Literature review and three-month field study targeting immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa residing in Hamburg. Interview based on a questionnaire with 685 women and 1082 men originating from 26 Sub-Saharan Countries

Data Collection


Alice Behrendt

Year of data collection

2010 (July-November)

Study population

Women and men from Sub-Saharan African countries residing in Hamburg

Prevalence data on FGM

40% of the 11,305 immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa in Hamburg have roots in families where FGM/C is being practiced. According to estimations of Plan International Deutschland 30% of women immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa underwent FGM/C before migrating to Europe. Among the 15,712 African immigrants registered in Hamburg (here including Egypt and Yemen), 12,439 come from countries where FGM is being practiced. The estimated number of women with FGM in Hamburg is 902.

Disaggregated data per country of origin

Estimation of women having undergone FGM from Ghana: 88, Togo: 26, Egypt: 261, Nigeria: 88, Cameroon: 3, Gambia: 73, Cote d´Ivoire: 46, Kenya: 52, Benin: 7, Ethiopia: 62, Burkina Faso: 62, Sierra Leone: 19, Guinea: 44, Guinea Bissau: 21, Liberia: 20, Senegal: 9, Niger: 0, Mali: 14, Sudan: 17, Eritrea: 24: Tanzania: 3, Uganda: 0, Yemen: 2, Somalia: 6, Mauritania: 4, Chad: 0

Disaggregated data per age

Number of girls (0-17) concerned or at risk of FGM in Hamburg: 200, estimated number of women (18+) with FGM residing in Hamburg: 902

Other disaggregation

80% of the questioned immigrants support the abolition of FGM, 20% either advocate the continuation or reported uncertainty. Among immigrants from practicing families the proportion was considerably higher (32%) than among immigrants from non-practicing families (7%)

Limitations of study

The study is restricted to the area of Hamburg, Germany and only considered migrants from Sub-Saharan African countries.