FIGO Resolution on Female Genital Mutilation

Agreed at the FIGO World Congress in Montreal in 1994.


The FIGO General Assembly,

CONSIDERING that Female Genital Mutilation (female circumcision) is a harmful traditional practice which is still prevalent in over 30 countries of the world, including areas of Africa, Asia and the Middle East;

CONCERNED about the serious adverse effects of this practice on the physical and psychological procedure performed on a child who cannot give informed consent;

RECOGNIZING that Female Genital Mutilation is a violation of human rights, as a harmful procedure performed on a child who cannot give informed consent;

RECALLING the 1994 World Health Assembly Resolution WHA47.10 welcoming the policy declarations to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on traditional practices by governments in countries where Female Genital Mutilation is practiced;


1. INVITES Member Societies to:

(1) URGE their governments to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of ALL Forms of Discrimination Against Women, if they have not already done so, and to ensure the implementation of the articles of the Convention, if the Convention has already been ratified.

(2) URGE their governments to take legal and/or other measures to render this practice socially unacceptable by all sectors and groups in society.

(3) COLLABORATE with national authorities, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations to advocate, promote and support measures aiming at the elimination of female genital mutilation.


2. RECOMMENDS that obstetricians and gynecologists:

(1) EXPLAIN the immediate dangers and long-term consequences of female genital mutilation to religious leaders, legislators and decision makers.

(2) EDUCATE health professionals, community workers and teachers about this harmful traditional practice.

(3) SUPPORT those men and women who want to end the practice in their families or communities.

(4) ASSIST in research for the documentation of the prevalence of the practice and its harmful consequences.

(5) OPPOSE any attempt to medicalize the procedure or to allow its performance, under any circumstances, in health establishments or by health professionals.