Burkina Faso


19.8 million

Estimated prevalence among girls and women aged 15-49


2018 population growth rate


Estimated prevalence among girls and women aged 15-19


Type practised

The most widely practised form of female genital cutting (FGC) in Burkina Faso is Type II.

[Source: UNICEFDHS and MICS]


Most girls in Burkina Faso undergo FGC before they turn five. 98% of girls are cut before the age of 14.



Traditional practitioners.


Legal status

Illegal. A law criminalising FGC was adopted in Burkina Faso in 1996 and came into effect in 1997.

This law is enforced. Between 2014 and 2017 there were 178 arrests, 151 court cases and 109 convictions.


National progress

A radio campaign initially raised the issue of FGC in 1975, demanding that the practice come to an end. This was followed by a recommendation made in 1985 during ‘National Week for Women’ to abolish the practice.

Other milestones include:

  • 1992-1995 – First National Action Plan
  • 1996-1997 – Law criminalising FGC was adopted
  • 1997 – Establishment of the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for the Fight Against FGM
  • 1997 – National budget line introduced for FGC
  • 2009 – Adoption of a National Gender Policy
  • 2015 – Integration of FGC module in the education curricula for primary and secondary schools
  • 2015 – FGC module included in the curricula of health care providers

Now on its Fourth National Strategic Plan, Burkina Faso has a national objective to reduce FGC by at least 30% by 2030.

UN programme

The UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on FGC is active in Burkina Faso. During Phase II of the programme (2014-2017), 1,326 communities made public declarations of FGC abandonment involving more than 1.5 million individuals.


Human Development Index ranking

183 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

61 deaths per 1,000 live births (2016).

Source: 28 Too Many

Maternal mortality rate

371 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015).

Source: 28 Too Many

Trends in FGC prevalence

Trends show a decline in FGC rates among adolescent girls between 2010 and 2015.


Prevalence breakdown

By region

FGC in Burkina Faso is practised across all regions, ethnic groups and religions, albeit with some distinct regional variations. For example, the centre-west has a prevalence rate of 54.8%, while in the centre-east the rate is 89.5%.

Practising ethnic groups

Dioula, Senufo, Bobo and Bissa, Gourounsi


Resources and Media