Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Clear and precise definition of Female Genital Mutilation

Last edited: October 29, 2010

This content is available in



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)