Number Of Women, Girls Undergoing FGM Cases Rise To 230 Million, Says UNICEF

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The number of women and girls undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) has risen by 15% in the past eight years, according to the UN’s children’s agency Unicef.

There are now 230 million women and girls around the world who have been subjected to genital cutting, says Unicef, which is 30 million more than the previous data.

Most of these cases are in Africa, with more than 144 million cases, followed by Asia (80 million) and the Middle East (six million).

Around 40% of girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation live in countries affected by conflict or instability, including Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan.

But Unicef also said that there has been a progressive decline in others.

Some of the countries where FGM cases have declined are Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Kenya.

However, Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti and Mali still have high numbers, with at least 89% of the women there between 15 and 49 years having undergone the cut.

“We’re also seeing a worrying trend that more girls are subjected to the practice at younger ages, many before their fifth birthday,” Unicef Executive Director Catherine Russell says.