The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania criminalized female genital mutilation (FGM) in 1998. Since then, the prevalence of FGM has decreased from 18 per cent to 10 per cent – aged 15-49. As part of the progress towards ending FGM in Tanzania, more cases are being reported and successfully handled by the police as a result of awareness-raising and systematic training of law enforcement officers on FGM response and gender-based violence more broadly. Despite progress, the harmful practice is still common in some communities and of mayor concern is that it is increasingly practised on girls under the age of one. Overall, 35 per cent of women underwent FGM before the age of one.

Substantial regional disparities exist in the prevalence of FGM: The highest prevalences are found in Manyara, Dodoma and Arusha Regions at 58 per cent, 47 per cent, and 41 per cent, respectively. Likewise, FGM prevalence is twice as high in rural (13 per cent) than in urban areas (5 per cent). UNFPA Tanzania, as part of the One UN, is the lead agency supporting the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to intensify efforts to end FGM. The government criminalized FGM in 1998.

FGM compromises the natural functions of the female body and has a detrimental impact on the health of women and girls, including their psychological, sexual and reproductive health. Short-term consequences: Death from haemorrhaging and severe pain, Trauma and infections that may result from the procedure. Long-term consequences: Chronic pain, Infections – including recurrent urinary tract infections, Decreased sexual enjoyment, Psychological consequences, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, Increased risks of birth by caesarean section, Increased maternal mortality, Increased risks of neonatal deaths, Increased risks of still births, Postpartum haemorrhaging, Low birth weight in infants.