Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso was the first African country to introduce a national law against FGM, in 1996

In Burkina Faso, the issue of FGM is framed around child abuse, rather than sexuality, with the key message being ‘zero tolerance’ to all forms of FGM. This approach to message framing is aimed at encouraging men to be more engaged in the issue, as they are more inclined to addressing FGM as a family issue, with a focus on the child.

The abandonment of FGM is backed by strong political will from government ministries. The FGM Task Force is an example of interdisciplinary coordination on FGM as it is inclusive of all government ministries. 


Percentage of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years who have undergone FGM


Political and legal context

Law abandoning FGM enacted in 1996


Key actors

  • National Committee to Fight the Practice of Excision (CNLPE) conducts research and awareness-raising activities at all levels and is responsible for enforcing the law and increasing education on FGM in the schools.
  • The Ministry of Social Action - the technical team on FGM implementing the work of CNLPE
  • The Anti-FGM/C Task Force, a cross-governmental body, has 39 members including all government ministries, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders, health professionals, and ambassadors. 
  • National Action Plan ‘to promote the elimination of FGM’ adopted from 2009 to 2013
  • The Government has partnered with the UNICEF-UNFPA Joint Programme to end FGM 

The number of successful prosecutions for FGM has increased over the years

  • There is a free national helpline on FGM, called Green Phone, used to encourage people to report cases. The police act on calls from the helpline and a mobile prosecution court has been introduced in villages. 
  • Burkina Faso is one of the few countries with strong consensus among traditional and faith leaders working together to end FGM. A traditional leader is currently the VP of the Anti-FGM Task Force. 
  • INGOs and NGOs are working to end FGM using a variety of strategies including community-dialogue, addressing the health risks of FGM, raising FGM awareness in schools and working with the media.
  • Both private and public medical care is available for survivors. 

Our work in Burkina Faso aims to:

  • Support existing organisations to engage communities in effective social change communications to end FGM.
  • Increase collaboration and networking between the different organisations working to end FGM, building a national movement.
  • Leveraging funding opportunities for End FGM activities.
  • Strengthen Government accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Advocate use of social change communication in the school curriculum.
  • Encourage faith-based organisations to act as agents of change, to challenge misconceptions that FGM is a religious requirement.

Meet the Burkina team