FGM prevalence varies widely from 77.8% in the south to 6.0% in the centre
Most girls are cut before the age of 10 and around three-quarters (72.2%) by age 5
Over 50% of women aged 15–49 were ‘cut, flesh removed’
Almost all FGM is carried out by ‘traditional excisors’
16,012,778 (as at 19 May 2017), with a 2.42% growth rate (2016 est.)
42 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015)
315 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)
57.7% of the total population aged 15 and over can read/write
The prevalence of FGM varies widely across Senegal, from 77.8% in the south to 6.0% in the centre. Over half of Senegal’s population live in rural areas, where FGM prevalence is 26.7%; in urban areas, it is 18.5%.
FGM prevalence also varies between peoples of different ethnic groups and religions. The highest-practising groups include the Mandigue (65.2%), Soninké (58.8%), Poular (52.0%) and Diola (54.5%). The lowest prevalences are found among the Wolof (0.8%) and the Serer (0.9%), although these are based on very small sample sizes. Prevalence is just under 50% among Animists, 23% among Muslims and 11.7% among Christians. 13.7% of women and 15.2% of men believe FGM is a religious requirement.
The greatest support for the continuation of FGM is among young women aged 15–19 (27.7% in favour), the highest-practising ethnic groups, those living in rural areas and those surveyed who had little education or were in the lowest wealth quintile.
The prevalence of FGM in women (aged 15–49) is 22.7%. This is a decrease from 28.2% in 2005. 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 26.0%, while for the youngest age group this has fallen to 20.6%. 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 for younger women.
See Senegal: The Law and FGM for more detail.