UNICEF: 230 Million Females Are Circumcised Globally, 30 Million More Than In 2016

 Over 230 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation, most of whom live in Africa, according to a report issued on Friday by the United Nations children’s agency.

In the last eight years, some 30 million people have undergone the procedure, in which external genitalia are partially or fully removed, UNICEF estimated in the report, which was released on International Women’s Day.

The percentage of women and girls who experience female genital mutilation is declining, UNICEF said, but it warned that efforts to eradicate the practice are too slow to keep up with fast-growing populations.

“The practice of female genital mutilation is declining, but not fast enough,” the report said.

The practice, incorrectly believed to control women’s sexuality, can cause serious bleeding and even death. Girls are subjected to the procedure at ages ranging from infancy to adolescence.

Long term, it can lead to urinary tract infections, menstrual problems, pain, decreased sexual satisfaction and childbirth complications, as well as depression, low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Read more here from ABC News.