Guinea Bissau


Key Findings

The prevalence of FGM in women aged 15–49 is 44.9%.

81.4% of women aged 15–49 who have heard of FGM believe it should be stopped.

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The regions with the highest prevalence are in the east: Gabú (96.3%) and Bafatá (86.8%)


FGM is usually practised on girls aged 4 to 14, but also on babies and women nearing marriage or giving birth


‘Flesh removed’ is the type of FGM practised, almost universally


Almost all FGM is carried out by traditional practitioners

Development Indicators


1,932,524 (as at 23 June 2017), with a 1.88% growth rate (2016 est.)  

Infant Mortality Rate

60 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015)

Maternal Mortality Rate

549 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)


59.9% of the total population aged 15 and over can read/write

Prevalence of FGM

Prevalence of FGM

The regions in Guinea Bissau with the highest FGM prevalence among women aged 15–49 are in the east:  Gabú (96.3%) and Bafatá (86.8%).  There is a significant difference between these regions and the rest of Guinea Bissau, as the department with the next-highest prevalence is Tombali, at 53.2%.  The region with the lowest prevalence is Cacheu, at 16%.  Women aged 15–49 who live in rural areas are more likely to undergo FGM (50.1%) than those who live in urban areas (39.8%).

95% of Muslim women aged 15–49 have undergone FGM. It is much less prevalent among women of other religions in Guinea Bissau:  no religious affiliation (8%); ‘other’ Christians and other religions (7%), Roman Catholics (6%), and Animists (5%).

Between 2006 and 2014, the overall prevalence of FGM among women aged 15–49 stayed roughly constant (44.5% in 2006 and 44.9% in 2014).  In 2006, 27.9% of women aged 15–49 who had heard of FGM stated that they believed the practice should continue.  In 2014, that figure had dropped to 12.8%, while 81.4% believed it should be stopped.

FGM Legislation in Guinea Bissau

The main law relating to FGM in Guinea Bissau is the Federal Law to Prevent, Fight and Suppress Female Genital Mutilation – Law No. 14/2011, which was passed in 2011.  There is a lack of information on cases brought to court, however.

See Guinea Bissau: The Law and FGM for more detail.


Research and resources for Guinea Bissau