Read AHA Foundation’s Groundbreaking New Study of FGM/C Trends in the U.S.


Published 10/26/2023

For the past 3 years, Sean Callaghan, a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester in the UK, has been researching female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) trends in the U.S. with AHA Foundation’s support. Now, AHA is proud to publish Sean’s report. As you will read, Sean’s analysis breaks new ground in understanding the prevalence, distribution, and impact of FGM/C in the U.S.

We hope this report will be a valuable resource for all those who wish to protect the rights of girls and women in the U.S. from the abuse of FGM/C. Thank you to our supporters who made this vital research possible. If you have any questions or need more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us:

You can read the press release for the report here. See here for a list of state-by-state FGM/C prevalence fact sheets based on the study. See here for our FGM/C legislation by state map. Find out how to urge your state to ban FGM/C here.

You can also watch a special webinar given by Sean and AHA’s Senior Director Amanda Parker that accompanied the launch of the report and delved into its findings. Watch here

READ NOW: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in the United States
Subtitle: A study of the prevalence, distribution, and impact of FGM/C in the U.S., 2015-2019



Key Findings

  • Not taking into account acculturation that takes place over time in immigrant communities, the study found that an estimated 577,000 women and girls were impacted by FGM/C in 2019.
  • Even a more conservative estimate, taking into account migration and acculturation, suggests that at least 384,000 women and girls were living with FGM/C in 2019, while 31,000 girls were at risk. 
  • 91% of those estimated to be already living with FGM/C in the U.S. were born overseas, highlighting the need for support targeted to immigrant communities. 
  • 58% of those at risk of future FGM/C in the new analysis were born in the U.S., emphasizing the importance of awareness and prevention efforts within American communities. 
  • 94% of the at-risk population were girls of elementary school age or younger, emphasizing the need to raise awareness in the education system and to provide training for pediatric healthcare professionals.
  • The population estimated to be living with FGM/C in the U.S. is ethnically diverse—including those with Egyptian, Ethiopian, Nigerian, Somali, and Indonesian backgrounds.
  • The largest proportion of girls at risk of being forced to undergo future FGM/C has ancestral ties to the wider Horn of Africa, including the Somali, Egyptian, Ethiopian, and Sudanese communities.