The practice of female genital mutilation is more widespread, and affects many more women and girls, than previously thought, according to a new report from Unicef.
In the most-affected country, Somalia, 98% of the female population aged between 15 and 49 had undergone the procedure, the United Nations children’s fund says. Its report was released to mark International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation(FGM), which falls tomorrow (Feb. 6). As the Guardian notes, the initiation rite is often performed on girls as young as five, even if their parents don’t consent.
– Cassie Werber