The United Nations has called for a decisive action to stop the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February, the United Nations Secretary General Antonia Guterres delivered a message stating that “ Over 200 million girls and women alive today have suffered from female genital mutilation, a horrific and harmful practice that can lead to physical, mental and sexual health complications. This year, more than 4 million girls are at risk.
Female genital mutilation is a blatant manifestation of gender inequality that is deeply entrenched in social, economic and political structures. It is also a human rights violation and an extreme form of violence against girls. Fortunately, between 2000 and 2018, the prevalence of this practice has decreased by 25 per cent.
Together, we can eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030. Doing so will have a positive ripple effect on the health, education and economic advancement of girls and women.”
“As the United Nations embarks on a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, let’s make this the decade of zero female genital mutilation”, Guterres added.
The heads of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) also highlighted that eliminating FGM and achieving gender equality are interdependent, mutually reinforcing goals.
“Simply put, if gender equality were a reality, there would be no FGM. This is the world we envision”, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem said in a joint statement.