16.4 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 II is the most common form of female genital cutting (FGC) in Senegal, with some groups practising Type III.

Source: UNICEF, based on DHS 2015-2016, UNFPA-UNICEF


Over two thirds of the girls who underwent FGC in Senegal were below the age of five.



FGC in Senegal is carried out by traditional practitioners.


Legal status

Illegal. Punishable by a sentence of one to five years in prison.

National progress

  • 1999 – Law prohibiting FGC introduced
  • 2000 – National action plan for the abandonment of FGC
  • 2008 – FGC action plan evaluation
  • 2014 – National budget for activity related to FGC abandonment created
  • 2015 – National action plan to fight gender-based violence and promote human rights
  • 2015 – Ten-year national strategy for gender equity (2016-2026)

UN programme

The UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on FGC is active across the country.

Phase II of the programme (2014-2017) saw 723 communities make public declarations of FGC abandonment, involving more than 266,800 individuals. It reports that girls’ and women’s attitudes towards FGC show no significant change in the period. The majority of girls and women and boys and men aged 15-49 think FGC should end.


Progress to end FGC

In Senegal and West Africa, Orchid Project’s grassroots partner Tostan has partnered with nearly 9,000 communities that have publicly declared abandonment of FGC. This was possible through a human rights-based, community-led programme in local languages.


Law enforcement appears to be weak. Few cases have been brought to court since legislation was introduced.

Human Development Index ranking

164 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Maternal mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Trends in FGC prevalence

The practice of FGC in Senegal is slowly changing. Fewer adolescents have undergone the procedure than previous generations, 21% of girls aged 15-19 compared to 26% of women age 45-49.


Prevalence breakdown

By region

Prevalence of FGC in Senegal varies widely – from 77.8% in the south to 6% in the central region.

Source: UNFPA-UNICEF and 28 Too Many

By ethnicity and religion

FGC is most common among Soninke (78%) and Pular (62%) and lowest for women from the Wolof and Serer groups (2%).

29% of Muslim women have undergone FGC compared to 11% of Christian women and 16% of Animist women.

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