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Fighting FGM

Elizabeth ShooFebruary 6, 2013

Over 130 million women worldwide have become victims of genital mutilation. Although many countries have strict laws that prohibit FGM, it's still difficult to put an end to this gruesome practice.

Former circumciser Mariam Coulibaly displays the tools of her trade, a knife handed down to her by her mother and herbs to heal the wounds, at her home in Salemata, southeastern Senegal, Friday Jan. 31, 2003. Coulibaly says that she performed circumcisions on more than 1,000 girls during her 30-year career, but gave up the practice after surrounding villages decided the practice to be dangerous. The piece of red cloth is part of one of the bright red robes she used to wear while performing the rites. (AP Photo/Alexandra Zavis)
Image: AP

Between 130 and 150 million women worldwide have undergone genital mutilation. The practice is most common in Africa, in some countries in Asia and the Middle East, and among migrants from these areas. Cultural, religious and social factors cause families and communities hold on to this brutal procedure.

DW takes a closer look at the effects FGM has on its victims and at the ongoing efforts to stop it.