Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a deep-rooted traditional practice that is found in a number of countries around the world but is more prevalent in Africa. According to the World Health Organization, it is practised in 28 out of the 52 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where a national prevalence ranges from 5 percent in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 98 percent in Somalia.
FGM is also practiced in a few countries in the Middle East and Asia and among migrant populations in Europe, North America and Australia. It is estimated that at least 3 million women and girls are at risk of FGM each year and that about 140 million women have undergone some type of FGM. The age at which the procedure is carried out varies from 0 to 20 years or as late as just before marriage or after the first pregnancy.
FGM is usually performed from a family in which women have been traditional practitioners. The procedures of FGM vary from culture to culture with the severity often depending on how much genital tissue is cut out. The cutting can either be carried out during infancy at the hospital by health personnel including doctors and nurses or at the community by traditional circumcisers who are usually women.