There are no national statistics on female genital cutting (FGC) in UAE. One small scale study published in 2011 by the Dubai Women’s College magazine, Desert Dawn, found that 34% of 200 women had been cut.
Medical practitioners in private clinics or homes.
FGC is legal in the UAE, however the Ministry of Health prohibits it being performed in state hospitals and clinics. This does not prevent parents getting their daughters cut in private clinics or at home.
Challenges to ending FGC
A dearth of research and statistics on FGC practices in UAE make the issue difficult to tackle.
From the little information available, it appears that FGC is highly medicalised in UAE. FGC’s occurrence in medical settings appears to legitimise the practice, and can perpetuate misconceptions that it is not harmful to girls. There are also anecdotal reports of girls from outside the UAE being taken to cities like Dubai to undergo the procedure in medical environments.
The majority of the UAE’s population is Muslim and many consider FGC a religious tradition, despite it not being an obligation of any religion. This belief may mean FGC continues despite one small study finding that 99% of Emiratis men surveyed opposed the practice, as did 82% of women.