Trend Toward Younger Girls for FGM/C in Burkina Faso
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 4:57 PM

On 27 January 2009, IRIN reported that female excision, a form of female genital mutilation/circumcision (FGM/C), is increasingly being performed on younger and younger girls in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The government’s National Committee Against FGM/C (CNLPE) reported that the number of girls under the age of five who have undergone the procedure rose from 20% in 1998 to 31% in 2003. Mwangaza Action, a local non-governmental organization (NGO), conducted a survey on FGM/C in the capital city of Ouagadougou. Researchers found that a majority of the 140 people surveyed said they took their daughters back to their villages, or other remote places, to undergo the procedure. The government and NGOs believe the trend is explained by the fact that FGM/C has been outlawed in Burkina Faso since 1996; parents and “cutters” can simply hide the procedure better on younger girls and thus avoid prosecution.

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Compiled from: IRIN (the humanitarian news and analysis service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), BURKINA FASO: Cutters Turn Razors on Babies to Evade FGM/C Law (27 January 2009).