2019 population growth rate


Estimated prevalence among girls and women aged 15-49

Unknown. It has been reported that girls and women have undergone female genital cutting (FGC) in remote mountainous regions of Dagestan. Reportedly, tens of thousands of women and girls have been cut in this area. It has also been reported that a medical clinic in Moscow was offering clitirodectomy as a service, although little more is known about the practice in this setting.

Type practised


Source: Guardian, RT


Unknown, although reports about FGC in Dagestan make reference to “girls as young as three” undergoing the practice.

Source: Guardian


Unknown, although the rural location of practising communities in Dagestan may suggest that traditional practitioners perform FGC on girls. In Moscow, one medical centre was reported as offering FGC as a service, although the centre denies carrying out the practice (clitirodectomy) for non-medical reasons.

Source: BBC News

Legal Status

Although there is no law specifically banning FGM in Russia, the practice is considered illegal under article 111 of the criminal code of causing serious harm to human health.

Ongoing challenges

  • According to interviews carried out in Dagestan by Moscow-based journalist Marina Akhmedova, is FGC linked to “the lack of rights for women in Dagestan, their low status within the family and limited work opportunities”.
  • Akhmedova also concluded from her interviews with practising communities in Dagestan that FGC is linked to protecting girls from honour killings. She commented: “They believe if a woman doesn’t have a clitoris she won’t be interested in sex and won’t have it before marriage. The villages support killings of such girls.”
  • Cutting has been linked to religion in interviews with community members in Dagestan. One woman in the region reportedly said FGC is an obligation of Islam. In late 2016 a senior Dagestani Islamic scholar, Ismail Berdiyev, said FGC was a solution to the “problem of promiscuity in women in general”. He later said his comment was taken out of context.

Source: Guardian, RT

Human Development Index ranking

49 in 2019 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

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

Maternal mortality rate

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

Source: Human Development Index