According to UNICEF, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Mali is 89%. 58% mothers whose daughters have been cut oppose the practice. At least 80% of girls were cut before the age of 5.

Terre des Femmes notes that the Tuareg, Moor and Songhai ethnic groups in the north of Mali do not practise FGM/C. In contrast, prevalence in the south of Mali is 95% among the Bambara, Soninke, Fula, Dogon and Senoufo. Most girls are cut before the age of 4 and 95% of girls are cut by medical professionals. The most common type of FGM/C is excision.

The Dogon ethnic group in Mopti and the Senoufo ethnic group in Sikasso practise FGM/C as an initiation ritual. Reasons for practising FGM/C include the belief that it will give better chances of marrying and  preserving her virginity, religious and social causes.

There is no law specifically banning FGM/C in Mali. Mali acceded to the ICESCR in 1974, ratified CEDAW in 1985, the CRC in 1990 and the Banjul Charter in 1981.

See also 28 Too Many’s country profile on Mali


We have no Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Mali, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.  

We have no FGM/C Country of Origin Expert for Mali, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us