Prevalence is marginally higher among nomadic populations (99.7%), but universally high in all locations
Most girls are cut between the ages of 10 and 14
Most women have undergone Type III FGM (infibulation/‘sewn closed’), which is also known as Pharaonic FGM
Predominantly traditional practitioners, but medicalised FGM is on the rise
In 2020, the prevalence of FGM across Somalia and Somaliland was 99.2%. In 2011, prevalence in Somaliland was 99.1% (women aged 15–49).
Across both Somali and Somaliland, women who live in rural areas are only slightly more likely to undergo FGM than those who live in urban areas. The prevalence is highest among nomadic women, but is universally high (over 98%) among women living in all areas.
76.4% of women believe that FGM should continue and 18.9% believe that it should not.
While support for Type III (Pharaonic) FGM has declined in recent years, other types of FGM referred to as ‘Sunni’ remain popular. More than four in five women in the oldest age group experienced Pharaonic cutting, compared to less than half of women in the youngest age group.
FGM Legislation in Somaliland
See Somaliland: The Law and FGM for more detail.