197.1 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 type of female genital cutting (FGC) in Nigeria varies by ethnicity and region. Type III has a higher prevalence in the northern states. Type I and II are more predominant in the south.



82% of women aged 15-49 underwent FGC before the age of five.

Source: UNFPA-UNICEF, based on DHS 2013


Traditional practitioners perform the vast majority of FGC in Nigeria (87%). Some FGC is performed by medical practitioners.


Legal status

Illegal in some states (The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act is a federal act that requires adoption by individual states for anti-FGC law to be harmonised across Nigeria).

National progress

  • 2011 – By-law on Abolition of Harmful Traditional Practices (including FGC) was adopted by Ebonyi state
  • 2013 – National policy and plan of action on FGC (2013-2017) revised
  • 2014 – National technical working group set up to coordinate action on FGC
  • 2015 – Enactment of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act; adopted in four states (Ebonyi, Imo, Oyo and Ogun)

UN programme

The UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on FGC is active in the south and south-west regions. It is supporting the government and mobilising senior political figures and their wives, including the First Lady of Nigeria, to accelerate efforts towards the elimination of the practice.

Phase II of the programme (2014-2017) saw declarations of abandonment of FGC from 1,059 communities.



It would appear that no data on prosecutions is publicly available. This suggests monitoring and collection needs to be improved in order to inform government strategies and programmes.

Human Development Index ranking

157 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Maternal mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Trends in FGC prevalence

The practice of FGC in Nigeria is steadily decreasing. The risk of cutting has dropped by almost a half.


Prevalence breakdown

By region

FGC rates are higher in the south and south west of Nigeria. The Osun region has the highest prevalence, at 91-100%.

Source: UNICEF, based on MICS 2016, UNFPA-UNICEF

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