More than half a million women and girls in the United States live at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a threefold increase in recent years due to the rise in immigrants from countries where it is practiced, a government study said on Thursday.
The number of U.S. women and girls who have undergone the actual procedures is unknown, however, due to a lack of reliable data, said the study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report said the estimated 513,000 women and girls at risk were born or have a parent born in a nation where female cutting is a tradition. The ancient ritual, often shrouded in secrecy and widely condemned as a serious violation of women’s rights, causes many health problems which can be fatal.
The study said women and girls with family rooted in Egypt, Ethiopia and Somalia were most commonly found at risk in the United States.