COUNTRY CONTEXT – NL

Facts and figures

Figures for 2014 indicate there were around 97,000 women originating from FGM ‘risk countries’ in the Netherlands, of whom 38,000 were aged less than 18 (Central Bureau of Statistics, the Netherlands). Risk countries are those in which FGM is known to be practised, on the basis of available data.

The Dutch Board of Health (RVZ, 2005) study of migrant girls from FGM risk countries established that at least 50 were undergoing FGM in the Netherlands each year.

These figures are supported by a 2013 study by Pharos and the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, which estimated that 29,000 women in the Netherlands have undergone FGM with a further 40 to 50 girls cut annually. According to the study, communities from Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq account for an estimated 80 per cent of FGM-affected women in the Netherlands, most of whom are between 20 and 49 years of age (Female Genital Mutilation in the Netherlands: Prevalence, incidence and determinants, Pharos, 2013).

The Pharos study assessed the risk of FGM within a given community based on prevalence rates in countries of origin. However, these figures are averages and should be interpreted with caution: the practice of FGM can vary widely between regions of a given country, and migration itself may result in parents deciding not to subject their daughters to FGM.

A 2008 retrospective study on the prevalence of FGM in midwifery practices, carried out the Independent Scientific Research and Advice Bureau TNO – Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek & Advies voor Bedrijven & Overheid (Korfker, 2012) showed that 4 out of 10 pregnant women from risk countries giving birth in the Netherlands had undergone FGM.

Main communities affected

The following table provides details of the country of origin and estimated number of women and girls affected by FGM in the Netherlands.

Country of origin Total number of women (a) Of which, girls aged 0-18 (a) Prevalence in country of origin (b)
Benin 166 75 7%
Burkina Faso 263 128 76%
Cameroon 1,467 585 1%
Central African Republic 34 10 24%
Chad 53 16 44%
Congo (Democratic Republic) 4,123 1,620
Djibouti 117 53 93%
Egypt 8,583 3,762 91%
Eritrea 1,266 455 89%
Ethiopia 6,021 1,845 74%
Gambia 446 228 76%
Ghana 11,452 3,704 4%
Guinea 1,764 833 96%
Guinea-Bissau 163 51 50%
Iraq 24,181 8,027 8%
Ivory Coast 814 364 38%
Kenya 2,090 777 27%
Liberia 1,309 629 58%
Mali 163 78 89%
Mauritania 84 51 69%
Niger 115 50 2%
Nigeria 5,534 2,530 27%
Senegal 725 339 26%
Sierra Leone 2,305 1,077 88%
Somalia 17,833 8,208 98%
Sudan, North (c) 2,510 1,112 88%
Tanzania 1,076 456 15%
Togo 764 327 4%
Uganda 1,021 318 1%
Yemen 277 130 38%
Total 96,719 37,838
  1. Central Bureau of Statistics, 1 January 2014
  2. Population Reference Bureau, FGM/C: Data and trends, update 2014
  3. Population Reference Bureau, FGM/C: Data and trends—Types of FGM, 2008

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