The world will on Wednesday commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for 2020, an annual awareness day commemorated every February 6, as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate FGM from the world. The 2020 commemoration theme is: “Unleashing Youth Power: One decade of accelerating actions for zero female genital mutilation.”
The day is part of combined efforts aimed at achieving one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); elimination of FGM being a key target under Goal 5: Gender Equality. FGM is a global human rights issue affecting girls and women in every region of the world. Therefore, eliminating it is a critical step towards realizing other SDGs focusing on gender equality, good health and well-being, safe motherhood, quality education, inclusive societies and economic growth.
“Female genital mutilation (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,” says the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to WHO, FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending to childbirths.
WHO believes about 120 to 140 million women had been subjected to FGM globally while 3 million girls are at the risk of being subjected to it every year. To enhance awareness on FGM and encourage concrete actions against the practice, from dialogue and action that engages families and communities to protection and care services for girls and women, laws and their enforcement.
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