Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a pervasive abuse of the rights of girls and women that is as old as human civilization. The practice is present in all regions of the world, though it is more prevalent within certain cultures and regions. In Africa, the practice ranges in prevalence from minimal in some countries, to nearly universal in some other countries. FGM permeates most social, economic, religious and cultural stratification in the African region. The age at which girls and women are most at risk of FGM may vary from one culture or community to another.