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UNICEF says 4.3 million girls are at risk of FGM in Nigeria


UNICEF says 4.3 million girls are at risk of FGM in Nigeria

UNICEF says over 4.3 million girls are at risk of female genital mutilation in 2023.

The latest estimates conducted by the United Nations Agency projected that the number will reach 4.6 million by 2030.

Giving reasons for the increase, the Agency revealed that conflict with climate change, rising poverty and inequality have continued to hinder efforts to transform gender and social norms that underpin this harmful practice and disrupt programmes that help protect girls.

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“Female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in Nigeria. With an estimated 19.9 million survivors, Nigeria accounts for the third highest number of women and girls who have undergone FGM worldwide, with the risk of cutting highest in the first 5 years (86% of girls circumcised before age 5 – National Demographic and Health Survey 2018).

“FGM prevalence in Nigeria is decreasing among women aged 15-49 according to data from the 2021 Multiple Indicator Survey (MICS) (18% to 15% 2016-17/2021).”

“Similarly, the prevalence among girls aged 0-14 decreased from 25% to 8% during the same period (MICS 2021).

“This significant decrease in prevalence among girls aged 0-14 is a welcome development, given that an estimated 86% of females aged 15-49 were subjected to FGM before the age of 5 (NDHS 2018). At the same time, 12 states had a prevalence higher than the national prevalence, ranging from 9% in Edo to 35% in Kwara and Kano.” UNICEF said.”

The Agency said Female genital mutilation (FGM) violates the rights of women and girls and limits their opportunities for the future in health, education and income.

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