200 million women and girls live with female genital mutilation – U.N.

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At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to a new statistical report published by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This has prompted the call again by senior United Nations officials for the world to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a “violent practice” that scars girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential.

Women chat together in the village of Halajay Gawra, northern Iraq, one of the villages UNICEF is working with to become “FGM-free.” © UNICEF/UN09330/Mackenzie
Women chat together in the village of Halajay Gawra, northern Iraq, one of the villages UNICEF is working with to become “FGM-free.” © UNICEF/UN09330/Mackenzie

“Never before has it been more urgent – or more possible – to end the practice of female genital mutilation, preventing immeasurable human suffering and boosting the power of women and girls to have a positive impact on our world,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation marked annually on 6 February.

The UN chief stressed that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted unanimously by UN Member States last year, contain a specific target calling for an end to FGM.

“Today I raise my voice and call on others to join me in empowering communities which themselves are eager for change,” he declared. “I count on governments to honour their pledges with support from civil society, health providers, the media and young people.”

At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to a new statistical report published by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Global Concern notes that half of the girls and women who have been cut live in three countries – Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia – and refers to smaller studies and anecdotal accounts that provide evidence FGM is a global human rights issue affecting girls and women in every region of the world.

“Female genital mutilation differs across regions and cultures, with some forms involving life-threatening health risks. In every case FGM violates the rights of girls and women,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta in a press release.

 

According to the data, girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut, with the highest prevalence of FGM among this age in Gambia at 56 per cent, Mauritania 54 per cent and Indonesia where around half of girls aged 11 and younger have undergone the practice. Countries with the highest prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 49 are Somalia 98 per cent, Guinea 97 per cent and Djibouti 93 per cent.

In most of the countries the majority of girls were cut before reaching their fifth birthdays. (United Nations)

2 COMMENTS

  1. One word I would use to describe this practice: Wickedness! This practice must stop, for it is indeed a violation of girls and women’s rights.

  2. 200 million women and girls live with female genital mutilation – U.N.
    Dont look to far to see the evil doers of this barbaric act.
    It all comes back to Mighty Man.They better do as Man says..
    How you like America Best Friend Saudi the Snake Arabia??
    Women not allowed education not allowed to drive not allowed to do most things without man blessings of being there with them and OMG OMG OMG how the America Government loves Saudis….Americans even promised to lay their lives on the line for their best buddies..

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