Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting (FGC), female circumcision (FC), or female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), is any procedure involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs "whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons." The term is almost exclusively used to describe traditional or religious procedures on a minor, which requires the parents' consent because of the age of the girl.
Amnesty International estimates that over 130 million women worldwide have been affected by some form of FGM, with over 3 million girls at risk of undergoing FGM every year.
FGM is mainly practiced in 28 different African countries. It is common in a band that stretches from Senegal in West Africa to Ethiopia on the East coast, as well as from Egypt in the north to Tanzania in the south. It is also practiced by some groups in the Arabian Peninsula. The country where FGM is most prevalent is Egypt, followed by Sudan, Ethiopia, and Mali. Egypt recently passed a law banning FGM.