International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
Theme: Translate political decisions into concrete actions at the grassroots to reach the goal of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation by 2030. – Feb 6th, 2019
- FGM is a global human rights issue affecting girls and women in every region of the world.
- At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation.
- The majority of people in countries where data on female genital mutilation exists – girls and women and boys and men alike – think the practice should end.
- Female genital mutilation is in decline in many countries. But if it persists at current levels, rapid population growth in countries where it is concentrated will significantly increase the number of girls subjected to it.
- Unless action to end female genital mutilation is accelerated, by 2030 another 68 million girls will have been cut.
- Girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications like 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.
- Girls who undergo female genital mutilation are more likely to drop out of school and face child marriage.
- Female genital mutilation is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances between men and women – and it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential in terms of health, education and income.
- Female genital mutilation violates the human rights of women and girls, contravening established principles, norms and standards including non-discrimination on the basis of sex; the rights to health, physical integrity and life; the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and the rights of the child.
- More than 20 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation by a health care provider. Medicalizing the practice does not make it safer, as it still removes and damages healthy and normal tissue and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.
- Eliminating female genital mutilation is a critical step towards realizing other SDGs, which focus on good health and well-being, safe motherhood, quality education, inclusive societies and economic growth.
- Ending female genital mutilation takes work at many levels, from dialogue and action that engages families and communities, to protection and care services for girls and women, laws and their enforcement, and political commitment at the local, regional, national and international levels.
- Between 2013 to 2017, the prevalence of female genital mutilation among girls aged 15-19 has declined in 10 of the 17 countries supported by the joint programme on the elimination of FGM.
- Some 3.3 million women and girls accessed prevention, protection and care services across 16 countries
- 13 countries have laws banning female genital mutilation, and similar laws are pending in three more countries.