International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation_6th February 2020

 

Abida and her child live in Ethiopia’s Afar Region. In Afar, prevalence of female genital mutilation has fallen sharply — down to 31% in some districts — in areas where the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of FGM is supporting community-led interventions. Photo: Sara Elgamal for UNFPA

Ending Female Genital Mutilation by 2030

 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.

Girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications such as severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infections, and difficulty in passing urine, as well as long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive health and mental health.

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2020 Theme: Unleashing Youth Power

In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, with the aim to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice.

Ending female genital mutilation in one decade will require support from every quarter. With significant population growth, especially among youth, investing in young people becomes indispensable. That is why this International Day will focus on mobilizing youth around the eliminations of harmful practices, including female genital mutilation under the theme: “Unleashing Youth Power: One decade of accelerating actions for zero female genital mutilation.”


UN Action

Although the practice has been around for more than a thousand years, there are reasons to think that female genital mutilation could end in a single generation. That is why the United Nations strives for its full eradication by 2030, following the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 5.

Since 2008, UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate the elimination of female genital mutilation. The programme currently focuses on 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East and also supports regional and global initiatives.

Over the years, this partnership has seen significant achievements. For instance, more than 3.3 million girls and women supported by the Joint Programme have benefited from female genital mutilation-related protection and care services, and 13 countries have established legal frameworks for banning female genital mutilation and have established national budget lines funding programmes to address it.

#EndFGM #YouthEndFGM

 


Background

FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.

The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.

 


In first person: “A piece of me”

“A Piece of Me” is a UNFPA campaign, celebrating three survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) with the aim to spread awareness to end FGM. Shot like a fashion film in the desert of the Afar region of Ethiopia with captivating images and colours – showcasing Zahra, Abida and Khadija our three survivors, the filmmaker, Sara Elgamal, celebrates the strength and story of these women.


 Secretary-General’s Message

Female genital mutilation is a gross violation of the human rights of women and girls.

Over 200 million women and girls alive today have experienced female genital mutilation in 30 countries across three continents.

Without concerted, accelerated action, a further 68 million girls could be subjected to this harmful practice by 2030.

With strong political engagement, we are seeing success in several countries. But this progress is not enough to keep up with population growth. Unless we act now, the number of cases will continue to rise.

Sustainable development cannot be achieved without full respect for the human rights of women and girls. Sustainable Development Goal 5, with a focus on gender equality, calls for the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030.

Together with the European Union, the United Nations has launched the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year undertaking that aims to create strong partnerships and align efforts to end all forms of violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation.

With the dignity, health and well-being of millions of girls at stake, there is no time to waste. Together, we can and must end this harmful practice.

António Guterres

 

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