What works and what does not: approaches for the abandonment of female genital mutilation
The prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is reducing in many countries where it is practiced but the degree of change varies between countries and communities. Various interventions have been tried but the reduction in prevalence remains slow. This raises questions about their efficacy and the need to channel the limited resources where they can make the most difference. This paper is intended to contribute to the design of more effective interventions by assessing existing knowledge of what works and what does not.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
The practice of FGM has no health benefits, causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences. It is mostly carried out by traditional providers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths.
Research and evidence on FGM
WHO's research seeks to generate knowledge about the causes and consequences of FGM, how to eliminate it, and how to care for those who have experienced FGM. Summaries of other research in the following areas are also provided along with full texts where available.
WHO research summaries on FGM
Research continues to be needed on aspects that will contribute to the elimination and prevention of female genital mutilation (FGM) and better care for girls and women who have been subjected to the practice.