A new Unicef report documents that an estimated 200 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), including 60 million in Indonesia.
The new numbers demonstrate that the practice is not solely concentrated in Africa. According to an Indonesian government survey, 49% of girls 11 and younger had undergone FGM, mostly as infants, the New York Times reports.
In the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, FGM is viewed as part of the culture and religious authorities consider it important for girls to undergo the ritual before marriage.
“Mutilation is horrible, but it’s not true that it happens here” says Fitri Yanti, 30, of Jakarta. “They cannot stop us. It’s our tradition.”
New York Times