The practice of female genital mutilation across the world : data availability and approaches to measurement

Authors & affiliation

Claudia Cappa, Luk Van Baelen, Els Leye


While Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been in existence for centuries, the rigorous and systematic documentation of the extent of the practice is a recent undertaking. This paper discusses data availability related to the practice of FGM and reviews the methods used to generate prevalence estimates. The aim is to illustrate strengths and limitations of the available data. The review is organised around two main categories of countries: FGM countries of origin, where representative prevalence data exist, and countries of migration for women and girls who have undergone FGM, for which representative prevalence data are lacking. This second category also includes countries across the world where FGM is only found among small autochthonous populations.

Publication date:


Staff members:

Els Leye

Link to publication

Open link


Cappa_paper_2019.pdf (restricted)

Related publications