In which countries are girls circumcised?

Girls and women from different communities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America are circumcised. Depending on the location and the community, there are differences – even within the same country. These include the number of girls and women affected by circumcision, the nature of the procedure and the reasons for circumcision.

Living in Europe, Australia, Canada or the United States unfortunately does not protect girls and women from circumcision. Although female circumcision is not a tradition in these countries and is strictly forbidden, it is still practiced by certain families. The risk of being circumcised exists for girls and women both in the host country and in the country of origin. For example, girls living in European countries may be circumcised during the summer holidays when traveling to their parents’ country of origin.

Here are some numbers:

There are almost 70,000 circumcised women in Germany, and up to 15,000 girls under the age of 18 are at risk. [1] More than 12,000 circumcised women live in Hesse, where about 3,000 girls are at risk. [2] About 200 million girls and women worldwide are circumcised. Every year another 3 million girls are added. [3] In most African countries and also in Germany, female circumcision is prohibited.


[1] Federal Ministry for Family Affairs for Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), 25 June 2020

[2] TERRE DES FEMMES, estimated number of unreported cases, as of October 2020