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New Report on FGM in Australia- 3 girls per day are “at risk”

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a secret crime and difficult to detect, and to date, the actual prevalence of FGM in Australia has been unknown. There is no central reporting in Australia of data about FGM where it is detected within medical or community settings.

Elsewhere in the world, studies have shown that migrants from countries where FGM is prevalent continue the practice once settled in new countries. Girls born to mothers who are survivors of FGM are at extremely high risk of being subjected to FGM.

No FGM Australia recognise that not all mothers who have had FGM themselves will continue the practice once they reach Australia. However,  statistics indicate daughters of women who have survived FGM are at elevated risk.

No FGM Australia has commissioned a report to identify the number of women and girls living in Australia who are likely to be either survivors of FGM or at risk of FGM. Additionally, using Australian birth statistics, No FGM Australia has estimated how many girls are born to women who are likely to be FGM survivors.

This report uses the best data available and makes estimates based on this data. Nothing will replace actual data, but until this information is available, this report gives an indication of the scope of the problem in Australia in 2014.

No FGM Australia_ Australian statistics_ March 2014

Executive Summary

1.     Women born outside Australia

Australia has over 83,000 women and girls who have migrated to the country and who are likely to be survivors of FGM or be at risk of FGM.This includes

  • 5,640 girls under the age of 15 – this group are at high risk of FGM
  • 36,236 women of childbearing age (between the ages of 15 – 49)

 

2.     Girls born in Australia

Women born outside Australia who are likely to be survivors of FGM are estimated to give birth to around 1100 girls every year – that’s around 3 per day. These girls are at high risk of FGM.

 

Assumptions – how did we calculate these statistics?

  1. Stats are taken from 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics showing how many women and girls from each of the countries where all types of FGM are known to be prevalent
  2. UNICEF figures showing the prevalence of all types of FGM in most of the countries where all types of FGM are known to be prevalent have been applied to reach a number of women and girls who are likely to be survivors of or at risk of FGM in Australia. [1]
  3. The prevalence of FGM in Indonesia was taken from a research report[2] published by the Population Council and with support from the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment under USAID funding.
  4. Australian birth figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics by age group for women within child-bearing age (15 – 49) have been applied to the figures above to estimate how many girls will be born in Australia every day to women who are likely to be survivors of FGM.

 

[1] UNICEF REPORT:http://www.unicef.org/media/files/FGCM_Lo_res.pdf

[2] http://www.popcouncil.org/uploads/pdfs/frontiers/reports/Indonesia_FGM.pdf

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7 Comments
  1. […] ← New Report on FGM in Australia- 3 girls per day are “at risk” […]

  2. […] about the actual practice in Australia, No FGM Australia commissioned a report which found that 3 girls a day could be at risk of FGM. There are several prosecutions in the courts at present. At No FGM […]

  3. […] Currently there is a case in NSW of two girls who were ‘circumcised” in Sydney lounge rooms. No FGM Australia estimate that there are 5640 girls in Australia who are in high risk of FGM. There are also 1100 […]

  4. Inge Hickey November 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    If it is known that immigrants from effected countries practice FGM why aren’t all of these people informed about the laws in Australia and kept under surveillance? Why are women not examined and registered if they have FGM? All migrants should undergo a health check when they are admitted to Australia for all sorts of medical problems, then it should be easy to find out who has FGM and keep a register of them. There is no excuse why there are no data and registers of these people for the sake of the children. What about the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it should be compulsory to ask these questions and people should be obliged to answer them. Australia should have a conscience to find ways to protect children against this violence, it can be done by law.

    • Anonymous November 11, 2015 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Many of these ideas are what we are lobbying government to do. We must do this in such a way that it is non-discriminatory (ie ask ALL women about FGM). Ultimately, we do need to know who has FGM in order to help provide the survivors with the care they need, and to protect their daughters from undergoing it in the future.

  5. cleopatra emerson April 11, 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    i think it is remarkably ageist that your statistics for survivors of FGM only encompass women up until age 49, or through childhood and childbearing years.

    Women of ALL ages who have survived FGM should be counted in a statistical survey, and certainly have services made available for them. This includes woman older than age 49.

    A woman’s Sexuality, Health, and Wellbeing do not end after childbearing years.

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