Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a severe form of gender-based violence, that violates the human rights of women and girls. The practice entails “all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".
Globally, over 200 million women and girls in 31 countries have been subjected to FGM. FGM is typically practiced on young girls under the age of 18. FGM is neither a religious nor health requirement. Rather, it is often a social norm performed to uphold cultural attitudes relating to sexuality, and marriageability.
All forms of FGM are harmful and can adversely affect the physical and psychological well-being of women and girls.