Mauritania


FGM PREVALENCE: 66.6%

Key Findings


The prevalence of FGM in women aged 15-49 is 66.6%.

36.1% of women in the same age group believe FGM should continue.

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Geography

The regions with the highest prevalence are in the south and south-east

Age

FGM is practised very shortly after birth and rarely after one year

Type

‘Flesh removed’ is the most common type of FGM practised

Agent

Approximately 93% of FGM incidences are carried out by traditional practitioners

Development Indicators


Population

4,264,264 (as at 8 June 2017), with a 2.2% growth rate (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

65 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015)

Maternal Mortality Rate

602 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)

Literacy

52.1% of the total population aged 15 and over can read/write

Prevalence of FGM


Prevalence of FGM

The regions in Mauritania with the highest prevalence of FGM are in the south and south-east: Hodh El Gharbi (98.9% of women aged 15-49), Assaba (97.9%) and Guidimakha (97,4%).  The region with the lowest prevalence is Traraza, in the west (19.9%).  FGM is more prevalent in women aged 15-49 who live in rural areas, at 80.5%, than in those who live in urban areas, at 57.2%.

Prevalence is inversely correlated with a woman’s levels of education and wealth.

89.5% of women who live in a household where the head’s primary language is Soninké have undergone FGM, compared to 79% of women whose household head speaks Poular, 68.3% of women whose household head speaks Arabic and 15.7% of women whose household head speaks Wollof.

Please note the above figures are from 2011.

Trends in FGM Prevalence


Trends in FGM Prevalence

Between 2011 and 2016, the overall prevalence for women aged 15-49 fell from 69.4% to 66.6%.  Due to the large age-range of women included, however, the overall prevalence alone may not fully reflect the progress that has been made in recent years.  Breaking down the most recent data by age group shows that the prevalence for women aged 45-49 is 75.2%, while for the youngest age group this has fallen to 65.9%. Despite the fact that a small proportion of women may be cut after the age of 15, the data suggests a trend towards lower prevalences among younger women.

FGM Legislation in Mauritania


The Mauritanian Government passed legislation in 2005 that prohibits the practice of FGM on a minor (Article 12 of Ordinance No. 2005-015 on the Criminal Protection of Children amending Chapter II of Article 12 of the Penal Code).

RESEARCH & RESOURCES


Research and resources for Mauritania