Photography by Tobin Jones ©

The risks to girls and women

Those subjected to FGM are at risk of infection, birth complications, haemorrhage and even death. They are also vulnerable to early marriage, dropping out of school, mental health disorders and reduced opportunities for growth, development and sustainable incomes.

Almost 200,000 girls will be cut this year

More than 200 million women and girls around the world live with the consequences of FGM. In Somalia, 99 percent of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone the procedure – the majority were cut between the ages of five and nine, according to the 2020 Somali Health and Demographic Survey.




Age range when majority of girls are cut

Despite United Nations resolutions calling for the elimination of FGM, the practice remains near universal in Somalia with a 99 per cent prevalence rate. Recent estimates indicate that more than 2.1 million girls in Somalia are at risk of FGM between 2015 - 2030[3]

Photography by Tobin Jones ©

Causes stem from gender inequality

In Somalia, social drivers and root causes of FGM stem from gender inequality, including a desire to control female sexuality, support for religious narratives, limited access to education and economic opportunities for girls and women and assurance of girls’ or women’s social status, chastity or marriageability. The practice has persisted as a result of beliefs that uncut women and girls are promiscuous, unclean and physically undesirable.

Photography by Tobin Jones ©

Ending harmful practices

In 2008, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the Joint Programme on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation to end FGM in one generation, which is linked to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 of ending all harmful practices by 2030.

[1] WHO 2008
[2] UNFPA 2014
[3] Performance Analysis for Phase 2- UNFPA joint programme on FGM 2018

Photography by Tobin Jones ©

It is the right of every girl and woman to make their own decisions governing their bodies