Religion & FGM


Religion is often the first answer given when people are asked why they practice FGM – but this link between FGM and religion is it founded?  Why is FGM still practiced in the name of religions that do not impose it? How can we deconstruct the ideas around FGM and religion in our work towards the abandonment of FGM?

In order to promote the exchange of practices and knowledge on this subject, we launched a thematic discussion on this theme on May 13, 2019.

A thematic note with the results of our desk research on the theme, a few resources and questions for this debate was drafted. In the document we deconstruct the idea that FGM is a “Islamic practice” and we show that FGM is not mandatory in any monotheist religion. However, we also admit that FGM is considered as a religious practice by many communities practicing it. Finally, we ask ourselves (and you) : How can we use Religion in our strategy to end FGM?

To support this discussion on Religion & FGM, we also made a video-interview with Imam Moussé Fall, coordinator of the Islam and Population Network of Senegal, to deconstructs the link between Islam and MGF. You can watch it on our YouTube Page:

We invite everyone interested in the subject to read this information :

This note can also be download in a PDF version here :

To support the debate, we could count on the participation of two experts of this issue :   

  • Maryam Sheikh Abdi’s, researcher on FGM and activist. She is the co-author of a report of the Population Council « Delinking Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting from Islam » and the study « A Religious Oriented Approach to Addressing FGM/C among the Somali Community of Wajir, Kenya», availables on the thematic note.
  • Imam Moussé Fall, coordinator of the Islam and Population Network in Senegal.

The members of the community were also invited to share their experiences with the Community of Practices :

  • Is religion used as a justification to perform FGM in your country?
  • What are the official positions of religious leaders regarding FGM?
  • What role are religious figures playing in your country?
  • Which prominent religious leaders take a stand against FGM?
  • How can we better integrate them in the fight against the practice?