UN Secretary-General António Guterres issues a stark warning, revealing that 4.4 million girls face the threat of female genital mutilation (FGM) this year. He appealed for action to stamp out this “egregious violation of fundamental human rights” and give greater voice to survivors.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE: A CALL FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION
On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, observed annually on February 6, Guterres emphasizes the imperative of eliminating FGM by 2030 in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He underscores the importance of challenging patriarchal norms and investing in the rights and well-being of women and girls.
BREAKING THE CYCLE: STORIES OF RESILIENCE FROM YEMEN
In Yemen, UNFPA supports efforts to combat FGM and uplift communities. Safia, a courageous woman from Hadramout, shares her harrowing experience of losing her daughter to FGM. Despite societal pressures, Safia embarks on a journey to raise awareness and protect future generations from the same fate.
CULTURAL NORMS AND CHALLENGES: DRIVING FACTORS BEHIND FGM
Deeply ingrained cultural norms, fear of ostracism, and misconceptions about religion continue to perpetuate FGM practices. Safia’s story illuminates the societal pressures and personal struggles faced by women and girls in communities where FGM prevails.
EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES: UNFPA’S CRUCIAL ROLE IN FGM ELIMINATION
UNFPA, alongside UNICEF, spearheads global efforts to accelerate FGM elimination. Through awareness campaigns and youth-friendly service centres, UNFPA empowers communities to reject harmful practices and safeguard the health and dignity of girls.
A CALL FOR HOPE AND ACTION: SAFEGUARDING FUTURE GENERATIONS
Safia’s journey symbolizes resilience and determination in the face of adversity. With awareness and support, she saves her second daughter from the grips of FGM, offering hope for countless other girls. Together, we can break the cycle of FGM and ensure a future free from this egregious violation of human rights.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a grave violation of human rights, impacting the health and integrity of millions of girls and women worldwide. With coordinated efforts, we aim to eliminate this harmful practice by 2030, ensuring the rights and well-being of all individuals.
CONFRONTING A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
FGM encompasses procedures that cause harm to female genitalia for non-medical reasons, posing immediate and long-term health risks. Despite progress, over 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM, with nearly 4.4 million more at risk this year alone. The time to act is now.