Country: Djibouti

Population: 872,932

Estimated prevalence among women aged 15-49:

93.1% & 215,336 women aged 15+ cut

Data Source MICS 2006
15 – 49 (%) 93.1
15 - 19 (%) 89.5
45 - 49 (%) 94.4
Urban (%) 93.1
Rural (%) 95.5
Lowest Region (%) 92.9
Highest Region (%) 94.9
Nicked, no flesh removed (%) 24.9
Flesh removed (%) 6.4
Sewn closed (%) 67.2
Traditionally performed (%) 93.8
Medically performed (%) 5.5
National law Illegal

PRB 2014

Type practised:

The most widely practiced form is Type III.

Legal status:

FGC has been illegal in Djibouti since April 1995 according to Article 333 of the Penal Code. This law criminalises FGC and the failure to report it to the authority. The punishment is five years imprisonment and a fine of one million Djiboutian Francs, and one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 Djiboutian Francs respectively.

There are however problems with enforcement, and to date no formal charges have ever been made. The law does in theory allow NGOs to file charges on behalf of victims; however the government is yet to convict anyone under this statute.

History of FGC in Djibouti:

Since the early 1980s, young women have initiated discussions and called for the abolition of FGC. Some progress and changes in attitudes have slowly been made. Efforts for the abandonment of FGC have been repeatedly reaffirmed through declarations by His Excellency the President of the Republic in 2004 and 2005 and the ratification of the Maputo Protocol on women's rights in Africa; Article 5 explicitly prohibits the practice of FGC.

Current efforts to abandon FGC:

The government has maintained efforts to end FGC with continued high-profile national campaigns, on-going public support from the first lady, and outreach to Muslim religious leaders. The government-run press has featured prominent coverage of events organized to educate the public on the negative consequences of FGC.

The Union of Djiboutian Women and other groups educate women and were effective in lessening the incidence of FGC in the capital. These initiatives are targeted at the whole population as FGC cuts across all social lines; with the prevalence rate in urban areas 93% compared to 96% in rural areas, and the rate amongst those with no education 94% compared to the 96% prevalence of those with education.

The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGC is active in Djibouti. A three-year programme of education on health, hygiene, human rights and literacy led to representatives from 99 communities publically abandoning FGC in 2011. The prevalence rate of FGC has slightly decreased from 94% (ages 45-49) to 90% (ages 15-19).

Ongoing challenges:

FGC is still believed to prevent female promiscuity and be a religious requirement. There is also a reluctance to see the direct link FGC and subsequent maternal or infant mortality. Rather than abandoning FGC altogether there has been a move from Type III to Type II in society.

Djibouti still has one of the highest FGC prevalence rates (93%) in the world along with Somalia, Guinea, Egypt, and Sierra Leone, and it is proving very difficult to abandon.

Practising Ethnic groups:

Information on the practice of FGC among specific ethnic groups in Djibouti is scarce.


French (official)

Arabic (official)



Major religions:

Muslim 94%

Christian 6%

News and Blogs:

  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Mail
  • Print