The west African nation of Burkina Faso has succeeded in nearly halving the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the ten years since it was banned, a government minister said Wednesday.
Burkina Faso banned the practice in 1996, and the following year it was estimated that its prevalence was roughly 80 percent.
Currently it is believed around 45 percent of girls are subjected to the procedure in the country overall, Social Action Minister Pascaline Tamini told AFP, with the practice nearly rooted out in the country's south but still widespread in the north.
She spoke after officials said four women had been arrested for subjecting a seven-year-old girl and a baby to the procedure.
The practice, which involves the full or partial removal of the clitoris, is still common in many parts of Africa and more than 100 million woman are believed to have been subjected to it in 28 African nations from Senegal to Somalia.