Key Findings

The prevalence of FGM in women aged 15-49 is 86.6%.

52.8% of women aged 15-49 who have heard of FGM believe it should be discontinued.

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The states with the highest prevalence are in the north-west; North Kordofan is the highest at 97.7%


The majority of women were cut between the ages of 5 & 9


Type III (sewn closed) is the most common type of FGM practised


More than ¾ of FGM cases are carried out by nurses, midwives or other medical personnel

Development Indicators


41,945,377 (as at 26 June 2017), with a 1.69% growth rate (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

48 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015)

Maternal Mortality Rate

311 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)


75.9% of the total population aged 15 and over can read/write

Prevalence of FGM

Prevalence of FGM

The states in Sudan with the highest FGM prevalence are in the north-west:  North Kordofan (97.7% of women aged 15-49), North Darfur (97.6%) and Northern (97.5%).  The state with the lowest prevalence is Central Darfur, in the south-west, at 45.4%.  Women aged 15-49 who live in rural areas are slightly more likely to undergo FGM (87.2%) than those who live in urban areas (85.5%).  

FGM is least prevalent among women aged 14-59 with ‘no education’, at 76.8%.

52.8% of women aged 15-49 who have heard of FGM believe it should be discontinued.

Trends in FGM Prevalence

Trends in FGM Prevalence

Breaking down the most recent data by age group shows that the prevalence for women aged 45-49 is 91.8%, while for the youngest age group this has fallen to 81.7%.  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 Sudan

On 22 April 2020 the Sovereign and Ministerial Councils of Sudan finally approved an amendment to Article 141 of the Criminal Act to criminalise and punish FGM at a national level:  

Article 141 Female Genital Mutilation

1.1  There shall be deemed to commit the offence of female genital mutilation whoever removed, mutilated the female genitalia by cutting, mutilating or modifying any natural part of it leading to the full or partial loss of its functions, whether it is inside a hospital, health centre, dispensary or clinic or other places.

1.2  Whoever commits the crime of female genital mutilation shall be punished with 3 years imprisonment and a fine or closing the premises.

Previously, only four states in Sudan had attempted to introduce anti-FGM laws, but weak implementation and enforcement impeded progress.


Research and resources for Sudan