About the Motives, Results und Prevalence of the Practice

Prevalence of FGM worldwide

Genital mutilation is used to control the sexual behaviour of girls and women. Unharmed girls and their families are insulted, defamed and threatened.


The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a phenomenon of global violence with at least 3 million victims every year. Many countries in which FGM is prevalent have passed laws penal laws against it. Despite that, 3 million girls are subjected to this abuse ever year. Currently, 200 million girls and women in African, Arab, and Asian countries must live with the severe consequences of mutilation. In some countries, nearly the entire female population is affected, as is the case in Egypt, Guinea, and Somalia. In other countries, the practice is only prevalent among particular ethnic groups.

This systematic violence against the female population in around 28 African countries pervades and increasingly occurs in the Middle East as well as in Asia. In February 2016, UNICEF adjusted the victim estimate upwards, as the incidence of at least 50 million victims in Indonesia and Malaysia with is a restrained estimate. Studies in Iran, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan show the true geographic extent. It remains to be seen, if important field research in these countries will find its way into the official prevalence statistics.

Due to migration, Genital Mutilation has increasingly appeared America, Australia, and Europe. Research by the Waris Dirie Foundation has shown that at least 500,000 affected women and girls live in Europe, and 180,000 underage girls are considered acutely at-risk. In Germany alone, around 30,000 girls are threatened or already affected by this particularly serious form of violence according to our estimates

So, the violence is by no means halted by European constitutional democracy. In order to protect girls in Germany from genital mutilation, we advocate for effective preventative measures, such as the introduction of mandatory reporting after the French model, and obligatory childcare investigations.

How does SAIDA protect girls?

Since 2011 Saida is active in Burkina Faso in the community of Gomboro. According to the World Bank database, about 76 percent of all Burkinabe women and girls are genitally mutilated. However, the prevalence rates vary between 55 and 90 percent depending on the region. In Burkina Faso we are implementing the following measures with local partners:

  • Annual preventive medical checkups
  • Enrolment of girls in school and promotion of their entire educational path
  • Awareness campaigns

In Germany we provide information on the role of girls' rights in development cooperation. We offer a wide range of counselling and support opportunities for those affected and for professionals.

About SAIDA International e.V.

We are committed to supporting women and children’s rights in developing countries. Our work focuses on education for young girls, stopping genital mutilation and early marriages, empowering women, and improving reproductive health. 


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