Prevalence studies

Since 2010 studies researching the prevalence of Female Genitale Mutilation were conducted in Belgium on assignment of the Institute for Gender equality for men and women (IGVM) and the Ministery of Health, Safety of the food chain and Environmment

What is s study of prevalence?

An estimate of the prevalence of girls and women in Belgium, either already had FGM or is at risk of undergoing it.

These studies follow a direct or indirect methodology in two phases:

  • Phase 1 : an estimate of the women coming from one of the countries with a very high prevalence of FGM, living on the Belgian territory
  • Phase 2 : applying (per age group) the country of origin to the population of girls and women living in Belgium

These data were collected in collaboration with Statbel (Statistics Belgium), Fedasil, AVIQ (Agence pour une Vie de Qualité), Dokters van de Wereld België, Opgroeien, ONE en CGVS/CGRA (Office of the commissioner general for refugees and stateless persons).

What is the research for ?

The research shows us the needs of those affceted by FGM, and helps to better identify the girls and women as well as where they are located, where the needs are the greatest.

On December 31st 2020 we estimate that 23.000 women who exeprienced FGM live in Belgium and that – without any prevention – more than 12.000 minor girls run the risk to be circumcised, because their mothers have undergone a form of FGM.

Flanders is now the most affected region in Belgium. The last study showed that more than 16.500 girls and women were circumcised or at risk of FGM, live in Flanders.  That’s a rise of 45% in comparison with the previous study of prevalence four years ago.  Adding 10.000 girls and women in the Brussels Capital Region and 8.800 in French speaking Belgium. At the moment there are less resources for Flanders. These figures enable us to launch an appeal for more resources at the level of policymakers. We need more funds for the prevention, protection and care for these girls and affected women.

If you would like to know more about this, the studies are available in French, click here or in Flemish, click here.