United States: Protect women and girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) - Equality Now

United States: Protect women and girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

16 MARCH 2020 UPDATE: There has been important forward movement on responding to female genital mutilation, a critical issue we have been working on for many years. On March 11, the Federal bipartisan bill ‘Stop FGM 2020 Act’ passed through the House Judiciary Committee and can now be brought to the floor for a vote. You have a critical role to play and we urgently need your help! Please contact your Representative and let them know that this bill is important and ask for them to vote “yes” to ensure the Stop FGM 2020 Act becomes law. 

This bill amends the law that criminalizes FGM to ensure girls are protected from violence and makes it illegal to cut a girl’s genitalia for non-medical reasons. It also adds important provisions including an updated definition of FGM, provides clarification of who is accountable under the law, and a reporting requirement for federal agencies, in addition to linking FGM to interstate commerce. The Department of Justice issued a press release supporting the bill. Please act now to protect girls in the US from female genital mutilation. For further information on this global issue, see our new report on FGM around the world.

If you’re not in the United States, see all our anti-FGM actions here.


In the US, approximately 513,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). Women and girls who were born in the US may be subjected to FGM here or even during vacations to their families’ countries of origin -- a practice known as “vacation cutting.”

Federal policies recognize FGM as a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. But the current federal FGM law is in limbo after the decision in the Michigan case that found the current law unconstitutional. While we do not agree with the court decision, it is urgent that Congress take steps to amend the law so that is can withstand any future court challenges and provide girls with strong protections against FGM.

To eliminate FGM in the US, we’re calling for a comprehensive strategy that unites government agencies, survivors and local organizations; provides FGM prevention education as well as support services for survivors at federal, state and local levels; and provides for continued funding. A growing number of states are outlawing FGM at the state level, but we’re advocating for more to follow suit.

Join Equality Now and the the US End FGM/C Network in urgently calling on members of Congress to pass the  Stop FGM Act and  provide girls with strong protections against FGM.

Learn more about FGM in the US.

Learn more about the laws against FGM by state in the US.


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