The 2013 Population Reference Bureau (PRB) estimate that over 500,000 women and girls in the U.S. are at risk for female genital mutilation (FGM) has been confirmed by an updated analysis issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Eight “battleground states” where voters will determine control of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives in November, are ranked by the PRB within the top 20 states where women and girls face the highest risk of FGM – Minnesota (3rd), Ohio (9th), Pennsylvania (11th), Michigan (15th), N.Carolina (16th), Colorado (17th), Arizona (19th), Nevada (20th).
Three cities within the battleground states are ranked in the top 10 Metropolitan areas where women and girls face the greatest risk of FGM.
Minneapolis, Minnesota is the metropolitan area with the largest Somali community in the country. Columbus, Ohio, the metropolitan area with the second largest Somali community in the country ranks number 7, followed by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which is ranked 8th and where an estimated 16,000 women and girls are at risk for FGM.
Updating its U.S. FGM risk estimate from 1990 to 2012, the Center for Disease Control 2016 Public Health Report showed that “the total number of women and girls in the United States at risk for FGM/C (cutting), or its consequences increased by 224%, from 168,000 to 545,000” concluding that:
“The estimated increase was wholly a result of rapid growth in the number of immigrants from FGM/C-practicing countries living in the United States.”
The countries of origin from which the U.S. receives refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants and which are considered countries where FGM is heavily practiced include Egypt, Ethiopia, Somali, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea and Guinea.