female genital mutiLation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-therapeutic reasons’.

FGM is a form of violence against girls which can result in a lifetime of pain, psychological problems and difficulty in childbirth. Around 125 million girls have been cut worldwide.

More info on FGM prevalence rates, causes, impact and effects below:

Image credit: UN WOmen

Image credit: UN WOmen

FGM key facts

  • More than 133 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where FGM is concentrated.

  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in child-birth and increased risk of newborn deaths

  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.

  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.


Child & early forced marriage

Child & early forced marriage (CEFM) occurs in every part of the world. One in three girls in developing countries is married by the age of 18, and one in nine by the age of 15. Some are as young as 8.

The factors that drive CEFM are complex, dynamic and vary from context to context. They often intersect to rob many girls of their childhood, their right to go to school and their chance to determine and secure their own future.

Find out more about CEFM, where it happens, it's causes and impact below:

CEFM key facts

  • Every year 14 million girls are married as children, denied their rights to health, education and opportunity, and robbed of their childhood.

  • If we do nothing, by 2030 an estimated 15.4 million girls a year will marry as children.

  • In the developing world, one in seven girls is married before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine.

  • Factors, such as lack of education, the lower value placed on girls’ education, school drop-out, gender-based violence (including sexual violence) and early pregnancy, can be both causes and consequences of CEFM.

  • CEFM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.