52 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

Type I and Type II of female genital cutting (FGC) are most widely practised in Kenya. Type III is also practised in far eastern parts of the country, along the border with Somalia.

Source: UNICEF, based on DHS 2014, UNFPA-UNICEF


The majority of girls are cut between the years of 12-18. However, there is a trend towards a lower age average of 7-12 years.


Although the majority of FGC in Kenya is carried out by traditional practitioners, the percentage of procedures performed by health providers is increasing.


Legal status

Illegal. Kenya’s anti-FGC legislation was enacted in 2011.

National progress

  • 2011 – Act prohibiting FGC
  • 2013 – Policy Framework for Education includes addressing FGC
  • 2014 – National budget line for FGC created
  • 2015 – National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health policy established
  • 2015 – National Plan of Action for Children in Kenya (2015-2022)
  • 2017 – Anti-FGC board budget approved for 2018-2019

According to a 2020 UNICEF report, most people in Kenya support abandonment of FGC, and the practice is less common than it was 3 decades ago. Nonetheless, it says, eliminating the cut by 2030 across the country requires additional efforts. 

UN programme

The UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme reports that FGC traditions in Kenya are rapidly changing. In Phase II of its programme (2014-2017), over 11,000 communities made public declarations of FGC abandonment involving more than 8.3 million individuals.



Implementation and enforcement of the national law remain a challenge, due to lack of resources and difficulty accessing remote rural areas. Judges are reluctant to apply the sentences provided for in the law, and sentences are regularly reduced or quashed on appeal.

Source: 28 Too Many

Human Development Index ranking

142 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

36 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015).

Source: 28 Too Many

Maternal mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Trends in FGC prevalence

FGC has decreased by 72% between women aged 45-49 and girls aged 15-19 years old.


Prevalence breakdown

By region

The highest prevalence is in Kenya’s north east region (97.5%).

Source: 28 Too Many

Practising ethnic groups

FGC is practised among 30 of Kenya’s 40 ethnic groups:

Somali 98%, Kisii 96%, Maasai 73%, Kalenjin 40%, Taita and Taveta 32%, Mercu/Embu 40%

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