At age one, Fatima was subjected to FGM in her village in Afar Region of Ethiopia. (Photo/ Kate Holt/UNICEF).

FGM In Africa Sees ‘Huge And Significant’ Decline, With Dramatic Fall From 71% To 8% In East Africa Over 20 Years

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FEMALE Genital Mutilation
has dropped in Africa, with East Africa recording a particularly dramatic decline over 20 years, a study shows.

The study by a study by BMJ Global Health announced last week that FGM rates among African children have shown huge and significant decline over the last two decades.

FGM in Africa is carried out mostly by older women, sometimes with unsafe instruments. (Photo/UNICEF/USA).

East Africa has seen the biggest drop, from 71% in 1995 to 8% in 2016. In North Africa, prevalence fell from nearly 60% in 1990 to 14% in 2015, and in West Africa rates dropped from 74% in 1996 to about 25% in 2017.

But while campaigners welcomed the news, some advised caution saying FGM also affects teenagers and women not analysed in the study, meaning the overall numbers could still be far higher. And in February, the UN warned that the number of women predicted to be mutilated each year could rise from here to 4.6 million by 2030.

FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, is a ritual in many societies, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, can lead to chronic pain, menstrual problems, cysts and some potentially life-threatening infections, among other complications.

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