FGM – Female Genital Mutilation –  consists in altering or injuring women’s genitalia for non-medical reasons, and can cause lifelong mental and physical suffering. This has been going on for centuries for traditional reasons or misconceptions of religious obligations. In West Africa, FGM used to affect most women before adulthood, causing both physical and psychological trauma. 

The UNFPA efforts to end FGM under the Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and funded by the European Union aims at ending FGM through a multi-layer approach. It works closely with governments to develop a legal framework which bans FGM. It also works hand in hand with the community, raising awareness about the health, psychological and social consequences of this mutilation, which used to affect more than 95% of women in some countries.  Finally, it also works with the community and religious leaders, as well as with the cutters to have them drop the knife or the blade. 

This documentation, which took place in 2022, highlights the noticeable changes regarding the perception of FGM in some communities in Mauritania, the Republic of Guinea and Burkina Faso. 

This project was made possible with the support of the UNFPA.

More commissions work here.