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Nearly 70,000 women in Spain are from countries in which Female Genital Mutilation is practiced

According to data from the 2016 Map of Female Genital Mutilation, there are 69,086 women residing in Spain who come from countries in which FGM is practiced, a 5.2% increase to 2012 data. Of these, 18,396 are under 15 years old, a figure which has reduced slightly (0.35%) in the past four years.


The Wassu-UAB Foundation presented today its Map of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Spain, with data from 2016. It was drawn up by Dr Adriana Kaplan Marcusán, director of the foundation and professor of the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the UAB, together with demographer Antonio López Gay. The objective of this updated version is to analyse figures of the female population originating from countries in which FGM is routinely practiced, characterise them demographically by sex and age, establish their countries of origin and locate them throughout the Spanish territory.

The report offers a longitudinal look in time, allowing to compare the current situation of female immigration from Sub-Saharan Africa with data from maps published in 2012 and 2008 and to consult the evolution of this ancestral practice existing in 28 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia. According to the information included in the report, there are in Spain 69,086 women from countries in which FGM is practiced, representing 5.2% increase since 2012. Of these, 18,396 are girls aged 0 to 14 years old, a group which has reduced slightly by 0.35% in the past four years.

The publication forms part of the project on the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation in Spain and includes the support of the Ministry for Employment and Social Security and is co-financed by the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Nearly a third of women from FGM countries residing in Spain are registerd as living in Catalonia. It is the autonomous community with the largest number of migrants from these countries, with 21,298 women and 6,295 girls aged 0 to 14. The second community is Madrid, with 8,891 women and 2,128 girls under the age of 15. In third place is Andalusia, with 7,820 women and 1,741 girls.

When focusing on data for each province, Barcelona is the one to house the majority of Sub-Saharan migrants, with 12,360 women and 3,569 girls aged 0 to 14. In second place is Madrid, followed by Girona, with 4,538 women and 1,409 girls, and Valencia with 3,276 women and 950 girls aged 0 to 14.

The region most affected by an increase in female population from FGM countries since 2012 is the Basque Country, where the number of women has grown from 3,308 to 4,890. Asturias and Galicia have also experienced a notable rise in population, surpassing 21%, while in Catalonia and Aragin the rise has been of 5%. In contrast, the population of girls aged 0 to 14 from countries in which FGM is routinely practices had fallen in the Balearic Islands, Aragon, the Canary Islands, Valencia, Catalonia and Madrid.

About the Wassu-UAB Foundation

The Wassu-UAB Foundation is a scientific organisation of international scope, workiing for the management and prevention of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Africa and its diaspora. Born from the will to contribute to building up a world more equal of rights, it proposes a pioneer, innovative and sustainable methodology. Through anthropological and medical research, applied to the transfer of knowledge, it creates and fosters opportunities for people to be able to take informed decisions and this improve the life and health of women, while at the same time recognising their right to integrity and personal freedom, in conditions of social equality.

The foundation includes the Transnational Observatory of Applied Research to New Strategies for the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, with two research centres: in Spain, the Interdisciplinary Group for the Study and Prevention of Harmful traditional Practices(GIPE-PTP) ; and in Gambia, the NGO Wassu Gambia Kafo.

More information: 

Summary dossier of the Map of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Spain 2016

Map of the Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Spain 2016