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

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

20 NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled to dismiss charges brought in Michigan against two doctors and six others accused of subjecting nine girls to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). As a member of the steering committee of the United States End FGM Network, Equality Now is deeply disappointed and concerned about this ruling. Read our response here.

13 SEPTEMBER 2018 UPDATE: In July, New Hampshire adopted a law criminalizing FGM!  This new law also contains a “vacation provision” which prohibits the practice of transporting girls outside of the state in order to undergo FGM.  We applaud the New Hampshire legislature on taking this important step towards protecting the rights of women and girls!

1 AUGUST 2017 UPDATE: In July, Michigan became the 26th state to enact anti-FGM laws! The legislation was introduced after the state became the site of the first ever FGM arrests under US federal law. The legislation criminalizes FGM and "vacation cutting" (the transportation of girls outside state lines to subject them to FGM). It also goes a step further by increasing the statute of limitations for survivors to bring charges and by establishing education and training outreach programs. We are encouraged to see Michigan embracing a holistic approach to eradicate FGM and to protect women and girls!


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 US laws and policies outlaw FGM and “vacation cutting” and recognize FGM as a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. Many US agencies have made strides to end FGM, but more must be done to protect at-risk women and girls at the national and state level.

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 Safe Hands for Girls in calling on the US Department of Health and Human Services to ensure efforts to address FGM are sustainable in the long-term!

Learn more about FGM in the US.

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


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