41.7 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 III is the most widely practised form of female genital cutting (FGC) in Sudan. Type I is also practised.

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


85% of women and girls aged 15-49 undergo FGC before the age of 15.



Medicalisation of FGC in Sudan is a major problem. More than three quarters of cases are carried out by health professionals.


Legal status

Illegal in only four of Sudan’s 18 states. With a federal system of government, there is currently no national law against FGC covering the whole of Sudan. 

National progress

  • 2001 – National strategy to abolish FGC in Sudan
  • 2008 – State-level laws on FGC introduced in South Kordofan region
  • 2008 – Women’s Empowerment Policy
  • 2009 –2010 – State-level laws on FGC in Gedaref and Red Sea
  • 2013 – State-level laws on FGC in South Darfur
  • 2014 – Government budget for work on FGC created
  • 2014 – National taskforce for abandonment of FGC and child marriage
  • 2016 – Adolescent health strategy with focus on sexual reproductive health (2017-2022)
  • 2018 – State-level laws on FGC in Northern State
  • 2018 – National FGC strategy – the official framework for FGC abandonment efforts is in the process of being upgraded for the period 2019-2030

UN programme

The UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on FGC is active in Sudan. Phase II of the programme (2014-2017) saw 329 communities make public declarations of FGC abandonment.

There is little evidence that attitudes towards FGC are changing, according to the UN. Their programme evaluation reports that just over half of girls and women in Sudan aged 15-49 support the end of FGC.



There would seem to be no reported cases of arrests or prosecutions in Gedaref, South Darfur, South Kordofan and Red Sea, the four states that have attempted to criminalise FGC.

Human Development Index ranking

167 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

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

Source: 28 Too Many

Maternal mortality rate

311 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)

Source: 28 Too Many

Trends in FGC prevalence

The practice of FGC in Sudan is changing slowly. 82% of girls aged 15-19 have undergone FGC compared to 92% of women aged 45-49, according to the UN.


Prevalence breakdown

By region

Prevalence rates are high across all regions of Sudan.


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