0 abortion not permitted
1 to save a woman's life
2 to preserve physical health and to save a woman's life
3 to preserve mental health and above
4 in case of rape and incest and most of the above
5 in case of rape and incest and above
6 in case of foetal impairment and most of the above
7 in case of foetal impairment and above
8 for economic and social reasons and most of the above
9 for economic and social reasons and the above
10 on request

Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting in Africa

What does it mean ?

Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting (FGM / C) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Prevalence of FGM / C is the percentage of all women aged 15-49 years who have undergone FGM.

Why does it matter ?

FGM / C is a violation of the rights of girls and women and is considered a form of gender-based violence. It is associated with serious adverse short and long term health consequences including pain, bleeding, infection and birth complications. Data on the practice is needed to evaluate the impact of policies and legislation and monitor progress toward elimination, which is included as a target for Sustainable Development Goal 5: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Target 5.3: by 2030 "eliminate all harmful practices, such as early, forced and child marriage, and female genital mutilation."

How is it collected ?

Most data on FGM / C is self-reported and collected retrospectively from large scale, nationally representative surveys such as Demographic and Health (DHS) or Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).

Unicef datasets most recent available data
http://data.unicef.org/child-protection/fgmc.html Accessed 15th August 2016

Legal Grounds for Abortion

What does it mean ?

This indicator shows the legal status of abortion in each country by categorising the grounds on which abortion is allowed into the following groups:

  • abortion not permitted
  • to save a woman's life
  • to preserve physical health and to save a woman's life
  • to preserve mental health and above
  • in case of rape and incest and most of the above
  • in case of rape and incest and above
  • in case of foetal impairment and most of the above
  • in case of foetal impairment and above
  • for economic and social reasons and most of the above
  • for economic and social reasons and the above
  • on request

Why does it matter ?

The legal status of abortion is an important indicator of women's ability to enjoy their reproductive rights. Legal restrictions on abortion often cause high levels of illegal and unsafe abortion, and there is a proven link between unsafe abortion and maternal mortality. There is strong evidence that legal restrictions do not stop women from having abortions, driving them instead to seek unsafe and illegal procedures which risk their lives.

How is it collected ?

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Policy Section collects these data every 2 years via their World Population Policies Database.

Findings are disseminated under the website: https://esa.un.org/PopPolicy/about_database.aspx

Download their database from this website for detailed data on grounds for abortion for individual countries.

United Nations, World Population Policies Database. http://esa.un.org/poppolicy/about_database.aspx