No excision
for my sister!

National campaign against excision

GAMS Belgium, along with some twenty partners, is launching a national campaign in June 2008 to prevent the risk of excision during a holiday in a family’s country of origin.

This website provides you with more information on excision, where it is practiced, its consequences, why it continues, what the law says on it in Belgium and Africa, and what we can do about it.



Discover the story of Diariatou as she leaves for a holiday in Sénégal >>


Take a look at this clip from Tiken Jah Fakoly’s "No to excision" >>

You can obtain a free copy of this cartoon strip from GAMS in French, Dutch, German or English (click on the first page of the cartoon strip, and several pages will appear).


If you want to know more…

What is female genital mutilation?

Female genital mutilation includes all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons (World Health Organisation, 1997).

Excision involves the removal of the clitoris with total or partial removal of the labia minora. This represents 80% of genital mutilation cases. Infibulation involves removal of the clitoris and labia minora followed by stitching of the labia major, leaving only a narrow orifice for the passage of urine or menstrual blood.

Where is it practiced?

In certain African countries such as Somalia or Djibouti, female genital mutilation is carried out on the majority of girls. In other countries, such as Senegal or the Côte d’Ivoire, it only takes place within certain ethnic groups. The most severe form of mutilation, infibulation, mostly takes place in East Africa (Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea), but is also carried out on a smaller scale in certain West African countries (Mali, Nigeria).

Who carries out genital mutilations?

In African, mutilations are generally carried out by elderly women, traditional birth attendants or barbers (in Egypt), and on occasion by doctors or midwives in health care facilities despite the World Health Organisation forbidding such a practice. Girls continue to fall victim to sexual mutilation in the west, in the destination countries of their communities of origin. Families call on the services of an expatriate excisor or send their daughters for excision during a holiday to their countries of origin. Mutilations are generally carried out between 4 and 14 years old, but they can also be practiced a few months after birth or just before marriage, depending on cultural norms. The age for excision has lowered over the last few years.