4. FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

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It is estimated that more than 300 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in the countries where the practice is concentrated. In addition, an estimated 4 million girls are at risk of female genital mutilation each year. Most girls cut themselves before the age of 15 (see Figure 1.).

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Female genital mutilation has been documented in 30 countries, mainly in Africa, as well as in the Middle East and Asia. Some forms of female genital mutilation have also been reported in other countries, including among certain ethnic groups in South America. In addition, increasing migration has increased the number of girls and women living outside their country of origin who have suffered or may be at risk of female genital mutilation in Europe, Australia and North America. Therefore, female genital mutilation is a global concern.

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While notable progress has been made towards eliminating this practice, redoubled efforts and swift action are needed if we are to put an end to it once and for all.

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In many of the countries where female genital mutilation takes place, violence against girls and women is socially acceptable, and this practice constitutes a social norm deeply rooted in gender inequality. There are several reasons why it is practiced. While in some cases it is considered a rite of passage to maturity, in other cases it is conceived as a way to control a woman's sexuality. Female genital mutilation is practiced in many communities because of the belief that it guarantees the future marriage of girls and the honor of families. Several people associate it with religious beliefs, although there are no religious texts that force it to be practiced.

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PERCENTAGE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN FROM 15 TO 49 YEARS OLD WHO HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION, BY COUNTRY:

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Reference:

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https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/fgm/prevalence/en/

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