International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 2023
Today we are recognising the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. In the words of the United Nations, ‘it reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women’.
Approximately 200M women and girls worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM. Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and sometimes on adult women. Between 2015 and 2030, 68 million girls globally are at risk of FGM if efforts are not accelerated to end this harmful practice. Although FGM occurs primarily in countries in Africa and the Middle East, FGM is a universal problem and is also practiced in some countries in Asia and Latin America.
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 (UN). Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a practice rooted in gender inequalities that stem from faulty beliefs, perceived obligations and inferred expectations. Today, a global movement against FGM, led by the resilience of survivors and the voices of new generations.
“I am really happy that this has not happened to me and I’m proud that [my mother is] standing up for all these things that have occurred to her.” -Insiya, United States (14 years old).
Did you know? There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It’s often performed by someone with no medical training, using instruments such as knives, scalpels, scissors, glass or razor blades. Children are rarely given anaesthetic or antiseptic treatment and are often forcibly restrained. It’s used to control female sexuality and can cause long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.
We recognise the huge effect that access to clean water has for the freedom of girls and women. Access to safe water sources allows women more time for education and work, if they choose, which in turn gives them more agency in their communities and creates opportunities to pursue in their future. We must reimagine a world that enables girls and women to have voice, choice, and control over their own lives. Be part of the conversation and participate on social media. Join us in our fight to alleviate the World Water Crisis and improve the livelihoods of women and girls everywhere.
Join the online conversation on February 6 using #Act2EndFGM