What does female genital mutilation cost? We mean, the very real and tangible costs of female genital mutilation like financial cost of the healthcare complications, the informal fees for the procedure itself, for the missed days of school, for the painful sex. All of these are costs are incurred to a girl.

On International End FGM Day, we’ve reflect on our work developing the FGM Cost Calculator.

Visualst, in partnership with Triangulate Health and WHO’s Reproductive Health Research Unit, is designing a web tool for FGM advocates, policy makers and researchers.

Our web tool is a ‘cost calculator’ with a page dedicated to the prevalence and costs associated with FGM, notably the healthcare costs, but our model also includes other economic and judicial costs. We’ve also built an interactive page where user input the reduction of FGM prevalence in their country of interest and the tool generates an iconed list of ‘cost savings’ to girls in that country. For instance, a decrease of 10% prevalence in country Y would result in $1,134USD saved healthcare costs from complication of bleeding for eight women.

One of the unique and transformational features of this project is that we as the data/UX designers were allotted ample time to speak to 12 FGM experts working in different capacities about what their desired features of a costing web tool. What was fascinating about this experience was that each of the informants had thought about a costing tool and was genuine excited for its existence. In business terms, a complete market fit. Second, each one of them discussed FGM with such compassion and empathy for the girls and women who have experienced it.

All of the informants mentioned the cost implications at different life stages, hence we include a life course visual that help users understand the differential costs to a girl at school age versus an expecting mother who has been cut.

On this day of advocacy and reflection on FGM, as a continued practice in over 20 countries, we wanted to share our work and experience with the people who have dedicate their work to stopping FGM. Please continue with your fiery passion and empathy.