Country: Niger

Population: 17.5 million

Estimated prevalence among women aged 15-49:

2.2% & 78, 200 women cut (15+)

Data Source DHS 2012
15 – 49 (%) 2.0
15 - 19 (%) 1.4
45 - 49 (%) 1.4
Urban (%) 1.2
Rural (%) 2.1
Lowest Region (%) 0.1
Highest Region (%) 9.2
Nicked, no flesh removed (%) 7.2
Flesh removed (%) 78.4
Sewn closed (%) 6.3
Traditionally performed (%) 95.9
Medically performed (%) 0.0
National law Illegal

PRB 2014

Type practised:

Type I and Type II are the most commonly practiced forms of FGC in Niger. However, Type IV (known in Niger as “Dangouria”) is also practiced.

Legal status:

FGC was criminalised in 2003 through a national decree, and was subsequently made punishable by six months to three years imprisonment.

History of FGC in Niger:

FGC was a long-hidden practice in Niger. Its existence was initially brought to light in 1986 in a medical student’s doctoral dissertation. Prevalence rates are highest in the villages of Tillabery, Niamey, and Diffa and in places closest to the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria. The less well-known practice of ‘dangouria’ is common in Niger, particularly in the South East of the country.

‘Dangouria’ in Niger

There are two types of this practice and both classified as Type IV of FGC. The first involves the removal of hymen of new-born girls usually within 10 days of birth, and is closely linked with early marriage (60% of girls aged 15-19 years are married). The second is performed on girls who marry before their bodies have matured enough for sexual intercourse (between the age of 9 and 15), and involves making an incision in the vaginal opening in order to widen it and facilitate intercourse.

Current efforts to abandon FGC:

Since 1992, UNICEF and the government of Niger have collaborated closely with local NGOs, community leaders and other donors to distribute educational materials at health centres, implement advocacy and social mobilization interventions aimed at stimulating behavioural change around FGC and promote involvement in educational events. Notably, 122 female traditional practitioners in more than 40 villages, and hamlets in the regions of Tillabery, Diffa and Niamey have been trained and given new skills. A combination of interventions has formed part of a broader strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, intended to accelerate the renunciation of harmful practices in general, and particularly FGC.

According to UNICEF, the prevalence rate of FGC has decreased from 5% in 1998 to 2.2% in 2006. In 2013, 14,000 villagers from 20 different communities in Niger took a public vow to end FGC and child marriage in a ceremony sponsored jointly by Niger’s government, UNICEF and NGOs. 91% of boys and men and 82% of girls and women think FGC should end.

Ongoing challenges:

Although practitioners face lengthy prison sentences, a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in 2008 stated that circumcisers were making the journey from Burkina Faso to Niger to carry out FGC on nomadic Goutmanche girls as part of a new trend of cross-border FGC and cross-border movement of girls from neighbouring countries into Niger to undergo FGC/Dangouria.

Ethnic groups:

Haoussa 55.4%

Djerma Sonrai 21%

Tuareg 9.3%

Peuhl 8.5%

Kanouri Manga 4.7%

Other 1.2%


French (official)



Major religions:

Muslim 80%

Other (including Christian and indigenous beliefs) 20%

In the news:

Yahoo News - Niger villagers take mass public vow to end female genital cutting

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