Clear and precise definition of Female Genital Mutilation


Legislation should state that FGM is an act of physical violence against the bodily integrity of a person.  Legislation should clearly articulate the types of FGM including:

  • Type I:  Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy).
  • Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision).
  • Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation and re-infibulation).
  • Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example:  pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, cauterization and inserting harmful substances into the vagina.

(See: Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation: An Interagency Statement, by OCHCR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO, published by WHO, 2008)