According to the World Health Organization, FGM refers to:
‘procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons’.
It is sometimes called Female Genital Cutting or female circumcision. Traditional names include bondo, sande, sunna.
FGM is practised in about 28 African countries, the Middle East and South East Asia. The African countries with the highest prevalence rates of over 90% are Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about two million women and girls are cut every year around the world. According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), about 86,000 women and girls are affected by FGM each year in the UK. Hawa Trust is campaigning for the total elimination of FGM in the UK and Africa.