According to UNICEF, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Niger is 2%. 89% of women and girls want the practice to end. 55% of women of Christian faith have been cut, whereas 2% of those are of Muslim faith. At least 1 out of 5 women underwent infibulation and about 80% of girls were cut before the age of 5.
Terre des Femmes notes that FGM/C is practised in the regions bordering on Bukina Faso, Mali, Chad and Nigeria. FGM is especially prevalent in the Tillabéri and Diffa regions. The Fula, Gurma, Baggāra, Ousta Arab and Toubou ethnic groups have the highest FGM/C prevalence. All FGM/C cases are performed by traditional practitioners and the most common type is excision. Some ethnic groups in the south-east practise ‘Dangouria’ (which means cotton seed), namely the removal of the girl’s hymen. Early marriage is common in Niger and the procedure also involves widening girls’ vagina for sexual intercourse before she is married.
Reasons for practising FGM/C include the belief that only a cut woman will gain social acceptance, that it is more hygienic, that a cut woman has better marriage prospects, that it preserves virginity before marriage, that religion prescribes FGM/C and that it should be performed for men’s sexual gratification.
See also 28 Too Many’s country profile on Niger.
We have no Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Niger, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.
We have no FGM/C Country of Origin Expert for Niger, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.