PRESS STATEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation was designated in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly to be celebrated on the 6th of February every year, to enhance awareness on the issue of Female Genital Mutilation and to encourage solid actions against the practice.
Female Genital Mutilation, which involves the partial and impartial removal of a female’s genital for non-medical reasons, is a severe violation of fundamental human rights and an act of violence against women and girls. No woman or girl should suffer such violence.
It is estimated that more than 200 million women and girls worldwide have suffered from FGM. UNFPA estimates additional 2 million girls projected to be at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation by 2030. These statistics have revealed that indeed there is still work to be done to go through with the UN agenda of “Ending Female Genital Mutilation by 2030”.
In Nigeria and beyond, women and girls are living with the consequences of FGM, often severely affecting their health and well-being, even endangering their lives. FGM cannot be justified as a cultural or traditional practice – it is a crime and a violation of human rights.
FGM is an extreme form of discrimination against women, reflecting deep-rooted gender inequality. Evidence shows that COVID-19 pandemic is worsening existing gender and social inequalities. The pandemic has disrupted advocacy and prevention programmes, seriously undermining progress towards reducing this barbaric practice. Any backward step puts more numbers of women and girls at risk.
Many people and communities are abandoning FGM. Change is possible, and it is happening.
This year’s theme, “No Time for Global Inaction, Unite, Fund, and Act to End Female Genital Mutilation” is a wake-up call to us all to unite, act and work together to end Female Genital Mutilation. To advance further, the elimination and eradication of Female Genital Mutilation, a harmonized and systemic approach are needed and we must all be fully and actively involved in ending Female Genital Mutilation by 2030.
Coordinated and systematic efforts must engage whole communities and focus on human rights, gender equality, sexual education, and attention to the needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences.
“We must remain committed more than ever to our work to end all forms of violence against women. We owe this to every single woman and girl in our society. It cannot wait.” says Aderonke Bello, Executive Director, FAME Foundation.
FAME Foundation calls on every individual, society, community, groups, CSOs, Governmental and non-governmental organizations to unite, act, work towards putting an end to Female Genital Mutilation.