South Sudan


13 Million

2018 population growth rate


Estimated prevalence among girls and women aged 15-49


Note: There are no recent surveys about female genital cutting (FGC) prevalence and practice in South Sudan. Previously, UNICEF has reported that prevalence was 1% amongst women aged 15-49 years.

Legal status

Illegal. It is not known to what extent South Sudan’s anti-FGC laws have been enforced.

National progress

  • 2008 – Both the Penal Code Act and Child Act criminalise FGC
  • 2016 – The East Africa Community (EAC), which includes South Sudan, enacted the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act

The EAC Act was designed to promote regional cooperation in the prosecution of perpetrators of FGC through the harmonisation of laws, policies and strategies for ending the practice. Regional EAC law takes precedence over domestic law but is not yet fully enacted in South Sudan.

One of the challenges in enforcing the law is that many of those reportedly still practising FGC are classed as internally displaced persons, living in UN protection-of-civilians sites throughout the South Sudan.

Human Development Index ranking

187 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data. This is one of the lowest development rankings in the world; only the Central African Republic and Niger are below South Sudan in the index.

Infant mortality rate

62.8 deaths per 1,000 live births (2017).

Source: 28 Too Many

Maternal mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Trends in FGC prevalence

Not known, due to the lack of recent survey data.

Prevalence breakdown

By region

Reportedly, FGC is practised in the northern regions of South Sudan, including Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

By ethnicity and religion

FGC has been reported amongst both Christian and Muslim communities.