Key Facts & Procedure

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Key Facts

> Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC) involves any procedure that intentionally removes or injures part or all of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

> Many communities and families who practice FGM view FGM as a good and beautiful thing, a rite of passage into adulthood, and a way to make sure their daughters are accepted into the community

>There are no health benefits for females who undergo the surgery

> FGM can lead to serious health problems, including severe bleeding, urinary and menstrual difficulties, infertility, childbirth complications, long-term psychological problems, and death

> The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3 million girls in Africa undergo FGM each year, and between 100 and 140 million girls and women are living with the consequences of FGM today

> FGM was made illegal in the UK by the 1985 Female Circumcision Prohibition Act; however, many communities continue to practice FGM

> There is no scriptural basis for FGM in any religion

FGM Procedures

>Type 1: Sunna or Clitoridectomy—removal of the prepuce (the hood of the clitoris) or removal of the entire clitoris

>Type 2: Excision—removal of the clitoris with partial or complete excision of the labia minora

>Type 3: Infibulation—removal of the clitoris and labia minora and stitching together of the vaginal opening leaving a small hole for urine and menstruation

>Type 4: Any other type of genital mutilation, including cutting, piercing, pricking, incising, scraping, etc.


It is a criminal offence to perform FGM here in the UK, or to take UK nationals and UK permanent residents to a different country to have FGM performed. Any person who is convicted of this offence is liable to serve up to 14 years in prison.